Then March 13, 2020 happens. The pandemic.
Finn is told by his boss, as Picoult notes, "You are not allowed to leave the hospital. And he says to his girlfriend, 'Look, this vacation is paid for. You should go.'"
And so Diana does. But upon arrival, she is told the island will shut down for two weeks. Her accommodations are voided, and she has to find a way to get by on an island that does not have stable Wi-Fi or good cell service.
She's all alone on the island where Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was formed. Picoult said being there "it's like a beautiful metaphor."
Diana begins re-evaluating her life—her relationships, choices and herself—wondering when she returns back home, would she have evolved into another person?
"Diana really learns to re-evaluate the goals she had and the life she wanted and begins to ask herself, 'Why did I want those things in the first place?'—which I think is an experience that many of us had," Picoult said. "The pandemic was such a strange time because we were all so isolated, but we were all feeling the same things. You know, we just weren't connecting about it."
In the Galápagos, Diana learns a lot, not just about herself, but also her job and art, working with impressionist paintings.