Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hook Me: Wish You Well by David Baldacci

Title: Wish You Well
Author: David Baldacci
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 1, 2000)
Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Description: The lives of 12-year-old Lou Cardinal and her eight-year-old brother, Oscar ("Oz"), are forever altered when an auto accident takes the life of their writer father and leaves their mother in a catatonic state. Used to the hectic bustle of New York City, they find themselves transplanted to the mountain cabin home of their great-grandmother, Louisa Mae Cardinal. Their new home has no electricity or running water, and their food comes not from any grocery store but from the barn and the land. Their new neighbors are simple folk, many of them poor, uneducated, and worked to the bone. But beneath them all is The Mountain, with its power to mesmerize and nurture their minds and their souls.

Though Lou rebels against her new life at first, she eventually grows to appreciate her hardscrabble existence, rising before dawn to milk the cows, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse, and then working till dusk to prepare, plant, and harvest crops. Her great-grandmother's simple lifestyle, boundless spirit, and obvious love of The Mountain become contagious. But there is plenty of ugliness here, too, not the least of which is the pervasive poverty and prejudicial ignorance subscribed to by some. When a greedy corporate entity enters the picture, Baldacci takes his readers into territory more familiar, culminating the tale in a highly satisfying David-and-Goliath-style courtroom battle. 

First line: The air was moist, the coming rain telegraphed by plump, gray clouds, and the blue sky fast fading.
Last line read:  Lou did not intend to rush to it, for she had a more pressing matter to attend to right now.

Overall Impressions: For me, the first few pages were a bit slow. Way too much telling, not enough show, but once the conversations started, I found myself quickly hooked to these characters. And what happens in the first chapter with the car accident made me tear up. I definitely feel for Lou, her brother Oz, and their mother Amanda and am curious what will happen to them as the story progresses.

Would I keep reading?: Yes.