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Wish You Well    by David Baldacci order for
Wish You Well
by David Baldacci
Order:  USA  Can
Hachette Audio, 2007 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

David Baldacci is well-known for his courtroom dramas. Wish You Well is a departure for him, in that it brings a story of the Virginia mountains - and a family who reside there in the 1940s - to life. Twelve year-old Louisa May Cardinal goes to live with her great-grandmother in these mountains after the unfortunate death of her parents. She and her younger brother Oscar adapt to the rough, mountain, hardscrabble way of life, but then new tragedy hits.

This is a very well-written tale of love and surviving in a harsh world. The characters are so well defined that you almost expect them to walk in your own front door - you would recognize them immediately. And though care and compassion seem to ooze from every word, the writing is in no way saccharine.

I had read this book as a hardbound volume, and thought I would enjoy listening to it again while I drove. Unfortunately, the narrator has the kind of voice that could easily put one to sleep. Even though the story line is very good, the drone does poor justice to the writing. Toward the end of the book though, Norma Lana did pick up the narration quite a bit, so that the inflections suited the action.

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