Wish You Well

Version: Abridged
Author: David Baldacci
Narrator: Kate Burton
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books
Published In: November 2000
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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It is 1940 and a tragedy sends two young children, Lou and her little brother, Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia to live with their great-grandmother. The story is told with both heartbreaking elegance and large doses of touching humor as the lives of Lou and Oz are forever changed. The portraits of the land and its people are described with an extraordinary eye for detail, and the story flows through swells of prejudice, innocence, faith, and the question of whether one can ever really wish another well. The climactic courtroom battle is as unpredictable as it is relentless and will not only decide the fates of Lou, Oz, and their mother, but also all who have been touched by them.

Reviews (13)

Choose unabridged

Written by Anonymous on December 31st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Not sure how I ended up with the abridged version of this book; I usually go for unabridged. The story seemed a little choppy between discs, and the listener got the feeling much was missing. However, it was the narrator who lost that fifth star from me...she read so fast it was frequently hard to keep up with her, and some of Baldacci's excellent descriptive style suffered. In spite of this, I enjoyed the story very much, but do recommend the unabridged version.

wish you well

Written by Will from biloxi from Biloxi, MS on April 29th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I actually received this book by accident. I have read most of Baldacci adventure/spy novels and really didn't want to find out if he could do another type of genre. Especially if I can figure out the ending of a book before I get there. However I found this book to be very enjoyable. His style of writing allowed me to project myself right into the story. I felt I was in West Virginia and I could share their feelings. Not bad for a guy who enjoys shoot em' up novels. Definitely a chic flick book - thanks for the ride


Written by Shane Nixon from Burlington, NC on June 13th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

GREAT story. Wonderful characters. Perfect narration. I suppose it helps that, geographically, this is in the place I grew up. But the vivid images of "the mountain" are just MAGNIFICENT. The story is so compelling I didn't want to get out of the car. JUST GREAT!

Wish You Well

Written by Kathy Crum on April 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Very good. I only gave it a 3-star rating because the version I got was the abridged. I felt like too much was left out, especially toward the end, and the ending. This book will make you wish you were there with the chacters to enteract with them. You come to know them so well you'll catch yourself wondering how they are doing long after the story ends. I often wished I was there with them. The narrorater is good, you always know who is speaking even before you are told. I truly enjoyed this book - I just wish I had gotten an unabridged version.


Written by Anonymous from Franconia, NH on April 3rd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Loved this book. Wonderful storyline. Excellent!

Wish You Well

Written by Bonnie Jones on February 16th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this book. Simply outstanding. Very strong characters that you felt you knew very well. Excellent narration as well. I loved the theme of the story as well as the era in which it took place. Don't pass this one up.

Wish You Well

Written by Paula Gutierrez on December 13th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was an amazing book that was truly unique. I would recommend it highly, even to young adults or upper elementary age children. The story is heart-warming yet realistic. Great job by Baldacci at capturing the time period, social dynamics and location. Louisa May, Lou and Oz are the central characters who bond in an interesting way under unfortunate circumstances. The narration was captivating and enticing to this selection.

Wish you well review

Written by Jacob Kimbel from Dale City, VA on October 6th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I have only just begun to listen to this book, but can already tell it is going to be great. A woman is the one who reads it, so it brings a female's touch to this book, and from what I've already heard, it will be a girl who this story will be based around. That is nice to know, that even though I am a man, I can get a feel of this book through a woman's point of view. This is the first book I have listened to in quite some time, so it is a different take on a great author's story. I need not descibe the events of this book to you, as it is written in the synopsis. But if you want something good to both intrique and entertain you, check this out. The author (David Baldacci) even has his own personal introduction in the beginning, so it has a sentimental quality to it. So until I finish this book and can give a more detailed review, I wish you well.

Excellent Read

Written by Tammy Henson on April 13th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

David Baldacci, a master storyteller. He never fails to create characters that come alive to the reader/listener. As with Lou and Oz, the reader feels the emotions in these young children. You sympathize with their plight and marvel at their strength as they don’t just survive the unexpected chaos but thrive with the help of Baldacci’s other colorful personalities. Great-grandmother Louisa is that one person we all wish we knew; the rare individual that makes you a better person just from having known them. She truly personifies caring, honesty, love, strength and doing the right thing just because its the right thing to do. This is a book that doesn’t just entertain the listener but exemplifies the truism - things may not turn-out like we want or expect but, in retrospect, they often turn-out to be just what we need. I particularly enjoyed the realistic southern accents and language depicted by the reader. An honest to goodness good read.

Wsh You Well

Written by Anonymous from New York, NY on March 16th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A departure from his typical work, but well worth the listen. The characters and places are described so artfully that you can feel as if you have met with them on the farm. A wonderful story filled with challenges, strife, disappointment and incredible pride no matter how challlenging things became. A very noce listen

Author Details

Author Details

Baldacci, David

David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney.

David Baldacci has published seventeen novels: Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, and The Whole Truth; and in his young adult series, Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! and Freddy and the French Fries: The Adventures of Silas Finklebean. He has also published a novella for the Dutch entitled Office Hours, written for Holland's Year 2000 "Month of the Thriller." Baldacci authored a short story, "The Mighty Johns," as part of a mystery anthology published in 2002.

His works have been in numerous worldwide magazines, newspapers, journals, and publications. Baldacci has authored seven original screenplays. His books have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries. All of his books have been national and international bestsellers. Over 60 million copies of Mr. Baldacci's books are in print worldwide.

Castle Rock entertainment made Absolute Power (Warner Books/Grand Central Publishing, 1996) into a major motion picture starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman. The novel Absolute Power won Britain's W. H. Smith's Thumping Good Read award for fiction in 1997, and was nominated for a literary award in Italy. Absolute Power was selected for People Magazine's "Page Turner of the Week." Absolute Power won the 1996 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery/Thriller from the Southern Writers Guild.

The paperback version of Total Control (Warner/Grand Central, 1996) was a best-selling favorite of the traveling public for over a year. Total Control won the 1997 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery/Thriller from the Southern Writers Guild.

The Winner's (Warner/Grand Central, 1997) sales topped those of Baldacci's first two novels, no doubt aided by revealing in the novel how to fix the lottery and win a hundred million dollars! The Winner received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, its highest rating.

The Simple Truth (Warner/Grand Central, 1998) was the first of Baldacci's novels in which part of the plot was based upon an actual event. President Clinton selected The Simple Truth as his favorite novel of 1999.

Saving Faith (Warner/Grand Central, 1999) is a novel about how Washington really works, and it reached number one on both the New York Times Bestseller List and the Publisher's Weekly national bestseller list. Saving Faith was selected for People Magazine's "Page Turner of the Week."

Wish You Well (Warner/Grand Central, 2000) is strongly linked to Baldacci's maternal family history. In researching for this book, he spent countless hours talking with his mother, who spent her first seventeen years on the "high rock" and learning its lifelong lessons. Wish You Well received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly and was selected as the inaugural book for All America Reads, a national reading program.

Last Man Standing (Warner/Grand Central, 2001) is an explosive psychological thriller about Web London, a member of the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, who is desperate to find answers for secret terrors and relief from unbearable guilt. Last Man Standing reached number one on the New York Times Bestseller List.

The Christmas Train (Warner/Grand Central, 2002) is filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags for a holiday adventure and shows how we do get second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams during the season of miracles. The Christmas Train has quickly become a holiday classic.

Split Second (Warner/Grand Central, 2003) is a compelling, fast-paced political thriller that gives readers an inside look at the work of the Secret Service as it strives to protect America's leaders. As their worlds close in upon them, former agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell team up to seek answer to events that, at first glance, seem to be unrelated disasters. Split Second became a New York Times bestseller on its first day of publication.

Hour Game (Warner/Grand Central, 2004) teams Sean King and Michelle Maxwell from Split Second in a race to prove a man’s innocence in a domestic burglary. They quickly find themselves caught in a chain of murders that once again rocks the quiet hills of Wrightsburg, Virginia. At every turn, King and Maxwell find themselves trying to put the pieces together as the killer is plays the murderous "hour game."

In The Camel Club (Warner/Grand Central, 2005), Baldacci goes beyond the traditional boundaries of fiction, painting a frighteningly vivid portrait of a world that could be our own very soon, and the few people who have a chance to stop the last war the world may ever fight.

In The Collectors (Warner/Grand Central, 2006), Baldacci weaves a brilliant, white-knuckle tale of suspense in which every collectors is searching for one missing prize... the one to die for.

Simple Genius (Warner/Grand Central, 2007) brings back the dynamic team of Sean King and Michelle Maxwell from Split Second and Hour Game. While investigating a dead body found in Babbage Town -- a think-tank and high tech research facility just across the York River from the CIA Training Facility in Camp Peary, Virginia -- King & Maxwell find themselves thrown into the midst of a worldwide race to control information, and at any cost -- even murder.

Stone Cold (Warner/Grand Central, 2007) brings back the unusual group of sleuths, the Camel Club, for another mystery involving Jerry Bagger, Annabelle Conroy, Alex Ford, and a deadly assassin whose identity, like Oliver Stone's, remains veiled in mystery.

The Whole Truth (Grand Central, 2008) represents David's first international thriller, one that presents the all-too-real world of perception management into the forefront of global defense contractor activities.

Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! (Little, Brown & Company, 2005) and Freddy and the French Fries: The Adventures of Silas Finklebean (Little, Brown & Company, 2006) are titles in Baldacci's series for young readers. Find out more about Freddy at his Web site, FreddyandtheFrenchFries.com.

David Baldacci's books have been publicly discussed and/or read by everyone from Howard Stern and Don Imus to Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, from George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to Charlie Rose and Larry King.

Baldacci has made many television and radio appearances and has been featured in numerous national and international publications

David contributes to, and is involved in, several philanthropic efforts. His greatest efforts are currently dedicated to his family's own Wish You Well Foundation. The Wish You Well Foundation, established by Michelle and David Baldacci, supports family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs. Recently the Wish You Well Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch "Feeding Body & Mind". Through Feeding Body & Mind, hundreds of thousands of new and used books have been collected and distributed through area food banks, helping feed both body and mind. For more information, visit WishYouWellFoundation.org and FeedingBodyandMind.com or call 703-476-6032.

David Baldacci serves as a national ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and participates in numerous charities, including the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the American Cancer Society, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He sits on the boards of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Virginia Commonwealth University. Baldacci also holds various honorary chairs.