Wish You Were Here is a humorous novel by English author Tom Holt. It was first published in the U.K by Orbit Books in 1998.
The moral of this book is 'Be careful what you wish for....it may come true'. A mischievous ghost of an ancient Native American princess, who has many guises, tricks visitors to Lake Chicopee (Iowa) into falling into it. Instead of drowning straight away, they are granted the one thing they were wishing for at the time of their 'accident'.
Tom Holt weaves a multi-character, multi-plot comedy together, drawing upon many sources and giving it his distinct twist and riddling it with sharp similes. There are references to movies such as Dances with Wolves and Westworld. Tom Holt also takes a comedic swipe at the worlds of lawyers and sensationalist journalism.
The story revolves around four 'customers':
Calvin Dieb is the hotshot property lawyer looking to short cut a deal to develop Lake Chicopee. Outwardly a hard nut, deep, deep down he has his insecurity and only feels safe in his SUV. Hence his only wish when he falls in the lake is to find his car keys.
Linda Lachuk is the tabloid journalist always on the look out for a story. She too falls in the lake and finds that story of Pope Shane III funding the smuggling of nuclear weapons from the USA by submarine, just as she wished.
Janice DeWeese is on walking holiday to forget the fact that she is not attractive enough to find a partner and is very lonely. When she falls in the lake and wishes she could have found someone to love her, naturally everyone falls for her.
Finally, there is the geek, Wesley Higgins from England, who is there because he knows the secret of Lake Chicopee. He wants to fall into the lake and get his heart's desire. As Tom Holt says on the back cover, 'It seemed a good idea at the time'.