Read The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard Online

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Few first novels receive the kind of attention and acclaim showered on this powerful story—a nationwide bestseller, a critical success, and the first title chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, The Deep End of the Ocean imagines every mother's worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child—as it explores a family's struggle to endure, evenFew first novels receive the kind of attention and acclaim showered on this powerful story—a nationwide bestseller, a critical success, and the first title chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, The Deep End of the Ocean imagines every mother's worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child—as it explores a family's struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds. Filled with compassion, humor, and brilliant observations about the texture of real life, here is a story of rare power, one that will touch readers' hearts and make them celebrate the emotions that make us all one....

Title : The Deep End of the Ocean
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140286274
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Deep End of the Ocean Reviews

  • betsy
    2019-03-07 14:13

    It's been a while since I first read this but I read it on a trip to visit my mother, finished it at her house and flung it across the room. I left it behind and she read it and called me to berate me for leaving it for her to read! So count this as TWO negative reviews. The climax happens about halfway through the book and then the next 200 or so pages are padding that you end up hating yourself for reading.

  • Rossy
    2019-03-16 18:12

    1.5 starsI usually compare the book to its film, and almost always the book wins. Not this time. NOPE.I've watched the film tons of times, and I loved it, and I cry every single time. With the book, only a couple of tears. And I adore the characters.The characters here were unlikable, specially Beth Cappadora, the mother. I didn't like her from the start. As for the rest, I only liked Vincent/Reese a little. I get that all of them were really affected and damaged when tragedy striked, but most were just annoying.And the ending was too much for me. SPOILERS HERE: Baby boy just knocking on the door like that? Beth forgiving the crazy lady who took her baby? Giving him up when you finally get him back? I felt really sorry for his "other dad", I admit I cried with this, but I guess they could've worked something out. So excuse me, but I'll go back to watching the film, curled up in my bed.

  • Deanna
    2019-03-18 18:40

    4.5 starsI actually read this book 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. It has stayed with me all these years. I thought it was a great book. Depressing and sad given the subject but very well written and easy to read. I read it very quickly over a couple of days.

  • Books Ring Mah Bell
    2019-03-09 21:36

    just can't read it... hits too close to home for me as a mom (a three year old is kidnapped) I had to read the ending to see if the kid is ever found alive. I tried skimming a few pages, but when I got to the part where they had to identify a small child in the morgue, I put the book down. I just can't do it.yeah, I'm a puss.

  • Eilene
    2019-03-01 20:37

    This book relies heavily on coincidence, which is usually a sign of bad writing. In this case, however, the coincidence is more of a result of a "what if" question, rather than a "how can I loop this all together" scenario. I think its an interesting idea, what happens when the little boy is found, but the bad guys feel like the good guys and the good guys don't feel like anything? One thing that struck me about this book was how self-centered the main character was. I can't comprehend what she went through, of course, but on some level it just wasn't about her anymore, I would think. Ehh, read it and see what you think.

  • Swissmiss
    2019-03-09 18:20

    The kid is found and he's fine. That's not a spoiler; you can read it on the jacket. However, I had to skip to the second half to see for myself, and I read in other reviews that other people did, too. I really didn't want to be reading a book about a child being kidnapped and killed or abused. And that's not what it was at all, so rest assured.The first half of the book is about what happens with a family when their middle child, a three-year-old, is kidnapped. The second half is about what happens with them when he comes back, nine years later. They're a dysfunctional family either way, and the most interesting question for me that this story raises is whether they would have been like that even if the boy hadn't been kidnapped (and whether the boy wasn't in fact better off having been raised by his kidnappers). It really made me stop and think about my own performance as a mother, whether I'm giving my kids enough attention or am going through life in a self-centered haze. The (slightly) negative points for me were, first, the sometimes too long introspective passages from the mother's point of view. I skipped over some of those. We already know her mindset and her self-reproach and self-absorbedness fairly early on, and I felt that it was repeated too often. The other thing that bothered me a bit was the too tidy coincidence of so many key characters from the past either being dead or having memory loss due to Alzheimer's or catatonia. It was only nine years, not fifty. It's obvious that the author simply didn't want to have to get deeply into the kidnapper's motivation, or was advised by her editor to cut out 100 pages somewhere, and this was a quick way to avoid those issues. I really would have been interested to have at least one scene where the kidnapper spoke, if only in an internal monologue.

  • Marisa
    2019-02-22 21:37

    This is quite possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. It was artistically abysmal and I would not have finished it if it weren't for the library book club I read it for. The characters (particularly the parents) are thin and unlikeable characters. The plot left unpleasantly dangling threads in several places where the author would take us to a location or revelation and then stop talking about it - including a pointless affair that did not contribute to the overall plot in any way. It was the type of book that if I was just an emotional girl and not a thinking person I might have really liked and been sucked in by; but, as it stands, I found it unsatisfying and contrived. Mitchard invites comparisons to Picoult, who is by far the superior author. Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper" explores similar family dynamic to this book but in a much more effective way. Avoid this book unless you just want a heaping pile of emotion with no rational thought.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-23 20:26

    I've read and reread this book a thousand times over. I get lost in the sorrow I feel for this family. Everytime I read this story I feel differently about the choices this family makes. I don't have children so it is hard to imagine the heart break of having one kidnapped. I think it is impossible to not get attached to these characters.

  • Wes
    2019-03-20 21:35

    Wes’ book review: Deep End of the Ocean. 2.5 stars. Meh, what a mixed bag. This book was a great idea that could have been executed much better by another writer with more experience in my opinion. (This was the author’s debut novel and I think it showed.) While it was a quick page turner, one is left feeling a little cheated by what could have been an absolutely stunning novel in the hands of someone with more control over their craft. PROS:1. Great idea and initial plot development. (A 3 year old child is kidnapped at a college reunion. This is TRULY a nightmare scenario and it is the lynchpin at the core of the novel.)2. Nice writing style when describing emotions and broad relationship concepts3. Realistic portrayal of stages of family turmoil and resolve over time4. Creates a great sense of deeply felt empathy for certain family members CONS: The main character is so devastated by grief that she comes off as unlikeable, narcissistic and cold. Cheesy, melodramatic dialogue during certain passages that make those sections feel like a corny made for tv movie. 3. A few side stories that added nothing and actively took away (A shallow affair for instance.)4. There were a few coincidences and revelations that were so far fetched, they simply took you right out of the story completely. When complicated scenarios are handled in this manner, it reveals an inability to create a more complete and well formed solution.I would be ambivalent about recommending this to others, but I don’t want to say “steer clear” either as there were some genuine flashes of really excellent writing and storytelling in there. If you pick it up, just know what you are getting into before you do.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-13 18:34

    The story of a family in the wake of a tragedy. When Ben, a three year old boy, disappears in a crowded hotel lobby, his family begins to slowly come apart. Nine years later, the boy is miraculously found and restored to the family, safe and unhurt. Unfortunately, it is not the happy homecoming everyone wanted. Ben does not remember his birth family. To him, the Cappadoras are rank strangers he is forced to live with while the father who raised him lives right down the street. The pain of all concerned is palpable as the family struggles to come to terms with guilt, anger, loss, and who "family" actually is. This story puts me in mind of King Solomon and the two women fighting over the baby. Will the "real"parents please stand up. What and who is "family?" The only parallel I can think of in real life are the cases where a child is given up for adoption and years later the birth parents decide they want the child back. I can't imagine a more selfish decision than to rip a child away from the only family they have ever known and force it to live with complete strangers. The author did a pretty fair job of getting into the heads of the Cappadora's as they slowly unravel as a family.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-03-09 14:27

    The Deep End of the Ocean is one of the closest books out there to capturing the harrowing story of a child's disappearance into thin air, but this book doesn't tell the story of the child. It focuses on the child's family, their grief and confusion and guilt, and ultimately their journey through the process.

  • Chana
    2019-03-21 20:36

    What a depressing book! I could actually say I have a lot in common with this book being#1 a bereaved parent (although my child died, he did not disappear)#2 being an adopted child who found and contacted the birth family as an adult and made an effort to fit into that family and have two families. I've been a quasi member of the birth family for years now, very quasi.Three year old Ben, youngest member of a large Italian family from his father's side and Irish family from his mother's side, disappears from a crowded hotel lobby. His family tries to hold together but has a very hard time, no duh. When Ben is found 9 years later he is happily ensconced in the family of the woman who abducted him and has no memory of his birth family. The family is torn apart further.I've noticed a lot of reviewers are critical of Beth, the mother of kidnapped Ben. Want to say, don't judge unless you have been in her shoes. My child died and I am a different person than I was. It took me about 6 years to rebuild the identity and personality I lost when my child died. How much worse would it be if you had no idea what happened to your child? If you could not know if they were in pain, what they might have suffered or might still be suffering; I think your life would be a waking nightmare. And she knew her husband and family blamed her for Ben's disappearance, she blamed herself. That kind of guilt must be completely crushing. Was she selfish? Yes. The little of her that was left after Ben disappeared had to be used to survive. That made her selfish. All her energies were devoted inwardly. The affair stuff, well... She had an interest in Nick before she lost Ben. I think that possibility was in her mind when she went to Chicago. Grief magnifies those things that are already wrong with a person. That she followed through on her interest is not that surprising. I was glad to see her struggle with it though, it seemed a very human and likely struggle to me. She is also blamed by reviewers for Vincent's problems. But Vincent's problem was guilt, much like his mother. He was not the person he was because his mother ignored him although I'm sure that did not help, he was that person because of guilt.

  • Terry
    2019-02-25 21:30

    I saw the movie, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, years ago and always had in the back of my mind that I'd like to read the book. I'm glad I did. Jacquelyn Mitchard did a masterful job writing this book. The characters are rich, complex and fully developed. The plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. And not everything gets explained or tied up in a neat bow - much like life. The first two sections of the story are told from a single point of view and the rest of the book alternates between Beth's (the mother) and her son Vincent's point of view. That in itself was clever and made the story feel more complete and complex.The characters aren't likeable all the time - just like real people. But I found myself wanting them to find healing and to connect with one another in a healthy way. I felt sad when that didn't happen and relieved when it did.I recommend this to anyone who wants a story that is challenging and thought provoking. I don't think of it as a beach read - kind of mindlessly entertaining. It engaged much more of my brain and emotions.

  • MishaMathew
    2019-03-16 19:19

    Paperback: 464 pagesPublisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (October 1, 1999)Language: EnglishMy Rating - 5This book for me was beautiful and scary. Imagine losing your child..the horror of it! It can ruin happy families apart, it can ruin marriages..This is what the book is about ,how the disappearance of a child completely changes the family dynamics and the lasting psychological impact of it.This one is quite a tearjerker. I myself wept quite a bit while reading it. However I have to say I found myself disliking the mother quite a bit especially her selfishness and the way she ignored the other son.However I do realize it her behavior was understandable in the situation.This is a story about how a happy "normal" family can be completely destroyed..how happiness hangs on such a delicate thread, read to break anytime.Overall Haunting, hard-hitting and a heartbreaking novel

  • Lina Hamad
    2019-02-24 20:26

    To be honest, I put this book down so many times in the past. I just couldn't go through with it. It somehow didn't seem to capture my interest. I choose this book because I'm a big fan of emotion evoking books, I just love them. However, as I kept on reading, Beth seemed to actually annoy me rather than gain my sympathy. Beth was so self centered and self absorbed that she couldn't see that anyone else was suffering beside her. I decided that I really didn't like her when she was so cold toward her only son Vincent when all that he wanted was a bit of warmth and care from his mother. She abandoned her own family and got caught up in the breakdown of losing her son which made her existence devoid of the true meaning of life. I'm still finding it hard to go on with this book. I can't seem to get to that triggering point where I'll actually want to flip through the pages.

  • Deborah Ideiosepius
    2019-03-05 22:11

    Well, obviously I did not like it. The abstract is that a three year old boy child vanishes, while in the care of his mother and watched by his seven year old brother. Family torn apart, police search, ect ect. Nine years later the boy is found by accident. This is a scenario that should make for a great book, how could all those dynamic elements go wrong?Here’s how;The literary style is very poor; so much so that the subject matter is obscured by the sickly sentimental and poorly edited writing. After a couple of chapters one has to put it down for a while and go do something more mentally stimulating like scrub the bathroom. The characters are poorly defined; three days after completing it I can barely remember any of the characters. The author spends a couple of paragraphs or pages defining someone and then ignores them utterly until one hundred pages latter they surface briefly at a Christmas party. The exceptions to this are the female, Jewish, lesbian police officer who the author is clearly very fond of and who gives the author a chance to establish how regrettably middle class conservative and bigoted she is. I suspect that she thinks is demonstrating the opposite, she isn’t.The main character for the first third of the novel is 'the mother' Beth. She is emotionaly superfical and deeply unlikable and consequently I was completely unable to bond with the character. Beth is phenomenally self centred, self absorbed and unwilling to give a shred of consideration to ANYONE else in her extended family or in any way admit that the lose of 'her' Ben may be affecting them too. She whinges her dysfunctional way through the novel until the last fifty pages, where she suddenly displays a bit of character and backbone which is by then, completely unbelievable. Beth is written as a deeply unsympathetic moron and I kind of wish someone would slap her heartily. No other character is in any way convincing “the husband’ is two dimensional, ‘The rebellious son’ is a stereotype which gives the author yet another chance to prove her ability in stereotyping and her conservative opinions. All in all, a travesty of a book. I regret the trees that were cut down to provide the paper. And I just noticed that the online book calls it “Cappadora family #1” you mean there are more of these? I think I can see the overall intelligence level of the planet visibly dropping.

  • Pamela
    2019-02-26 21:25

    RSD/CRPS is a painful and horribly-bizarre disorder. Those effected by it, such as myself, face numerous sensory challenges - everything from misfiring of nerves to audible filter failures to muscle atrophy and more.... And it is highly amplified via stress; good stressors or bad, the outcome can be equally debilitating. When reading a book with extreme palatable suspense or adrenalin-evoking action or content, I have to decide whether or not such a book (the story, characters, potential for gaining understanding or knowledge) is worth the risk of igniting an RSD episode that may take days to overcome.In this case, the answer is NO! Not even for book club. And especially not for the main character, Beth, psycho mother of Ben who was as warm as frozen granite. Really, there wasn't a single character (at least through page 120 where I threw in the towel) I cared one iota about, other than Ben.Overall, too debased, depressing, deranged and dark for me. Way to many dregs to be my cup of tea.I'm choosing not to rate this due to my extenuating circumstances for not finishing the book. I will say this, however, the writing was fair though choppy. A bit of a challenge to get in synch with, being heavily comma-zealous with many insertions of rambling asides. Plus, expletives are plentiful.

  • Natasha Findlay
    2019-03-23 20:34

    THE DEEP END of the OCEAN by Jacquelyn MitchardI decided to read this book because it was recommended by my mum as i didn't know what to read for my book reports.The category i chose for this book is 'A book with a female main character'. This was interesting because the female main character was the mother of Ben the boy who went missing in this book and it showed us the pain she had for losing her son and how her family got torn apart.My favourite quote from the book is "Where's Ben" because it was the quote that really started off the book for me and it made you want to read on to find out where Ben is and what has happened to him.Something new i learned from this book is to always be aware of your family and don't ignore them because one day it could be the last time you ever see them again.A character i found interesting in this book was Beth Cappadora who is also the female main character in this book.I found her interesting because since Ben was lost ( kidnapped ) Beth became a totally different person. She hardly did anything at all she just sat on the couch or sat in her room without saying a word and she completely ignored her other two kids. I find this interesting because you would think now that she has lost one kid she would hold her other two kids tightly and always make sure they are okay but she didn't.

  • Tandie
    2019-03-03 18:14

    I'm traumatized. Child gets kidnapped. Family completely falls apart & remaining kids are neglected. Everyone is messed up and struggling to live day by day. Fast forward a bunch of years. Older kidnapped kid is found & taken from his not-really family. He doesn't fit in with his real family and everyone is tragically messed up. They work a few things out, but everyone is emotionally scarred and yes, messed up for life. What the heck? Oprah likes her book club to be super duper sad. All the time.

  • Lady Di
    2019-03-01 21:22

    Oprah's Book Club: A mother's 3 year old son was kidnapped while her back was turned checking into a hotel. I related most with the brother that didn't watch his brother like the mother asked. This was the subplot that held the book together. The mother recognizes her lost son 9 years later mowing lawns. He was innocent in the whole thing and it was sad for him to have two families and to feel torn between having to choose between them.

  • Mai Ngoc
    2019-02-26 21:35

    Mình mua sách dựa theo cảm tính nhiều. Cũng như lúc nghe nhạc vậy. Mỗi thời điểm lại thích một bài khác nhau, (mà nhiều lúc không biết là mình thích gì :)) )khó tính đến múc cứ dò dò ở cái playlist mãi để tìm một bài để gán cho nó là "Song of the day", thiếu nước nhái các bạn post lên instagram với hashtag #ootd thôi. Truyện này lúc nhìn thấy ở kệ sách tầng 2 phố Đinh Lễ, mình đã gục ngay rồi. Lần này thì em phải thuộc về chị nha. Cuối cùng thì được bạn mua tặng. (Hai quyển sách mở hàng đầu năm 2016 là hai quyển được tặng. Và là hai quyển mình ưng.) Trước hết phải nói đến cái review của Tạp chí US, in ngay bìa của truyện: "Hãy hít thật sâu trước khi đọc nhé...Câu chuyện lôi cuốn này không cho bạn rời ra lúc nào để thở đâu." Tuổi trên giấy khai sinh là 23 tuổi nhưng với cái tâm hồn già khú để như những bà già từng trải với cái sự lừa lọc ở đời (=)) ), đọc xong lời này mình cười (khẩy), marketing lộ liễu quá pa. Ai dè nó đúng. Cầm lên đọc một lèo từ 10h tối tới 7h sáng mà không bỏ xuống được. Thành tâm mà nói, câu chuyện thực sự không quá xuất sắc, cũng không có nhiều phần hồi hộp, ấy vậy mà nó lại cuốn hút. Như anh chàng Jung Hwan trong Reply 1988 ấy, chả có gì đặc sắc, nổi trội ấy thế mà các chị em gái cứ đổ đứ đừ.Đọc truyện, mình cảm thông với Beth. Có người bảo con người Beth kì quá, lãnh cảm quá, xa lạ quá, làm họ không kết nối được. Cái đau đớn mất con họ muốn được "đọc thấy" cơ. Họ phải đọc được cô khóc lóc, quằn quại rồi như điên như dại tìm con như thế nào ý. Sao lại đòi hỏi đau đớn phải khải dập khuôn như vậy? Cô đau theo cách của cô mà. Đau lắm, đến nỗi tiềm thức cô tách biệt khỏi cái thế giới hiện tại mà cô đang sống, vô hồn chống chọi với cái vết thương vẫn khiến cô đau nhói qua từng giây, từng phút kể từ khi bé Ben mất tích. Cô tự trách mình như tội đồ lớn nhất của sự đau thương này. Mười phút thôi, hay năm phút? Thời gian ngắn ấy có thể cứu rỗi cả gia đình họ khỏi khoảng thời gian địa ngục chín năm ấy. Nhưng thời gian đâu có quay trở lại. Sự day dứt đau thương ấy là song sắt kiên cố nhốt cô ở lại trong "căn phòng tối", ở một cái thế giới không hề có hiện tại, không hề có gia đình mà cô yêu thương với những đứa trẻ mà cô vẫn luôn tự hào kheo với mọi người rằng cô với Pat "tạo ra chúng từ những thứ" họ có thôi ấy. Ben trở về, sau chín năm dài đằng đẵng, bằng một sự tình cờ kì diệu. Nhưng em không còn là Ben nữa rồi. Em đã trở thành Sam còn Vincent đã trở thành Reese. Mẹ Beth thì về với hiện tại. Mặc cho thế giới tung hô, hoan hỉ trước cái sự trở về của em, thế giới của Ben và gia đình Cappadora có đầy những cảm xúc lẫn lộn mà bản thân mình cũng không định hình nổi, chỉ le lói trong lòng một cảm giác tiếc nuối bâng quơ. Cảm giác cái khoảng cách trong gia đình họ sao mà xa vời vợi. Cái mối liên kết giữa họ sao mà mong manh đến đau lòng. Chín năm mà, chín năm thật dài đã khiến cho mọi thứ thay đổi thật bi ai. Trong cái hiện thực đó, Vincent đã trở thành điểm sáng mà mình thích nhất ở trong truyện. Em thông minh, hiểu chuyện, yêu gia đình, nhưng em luôn mặc cảm tội lỗi khi để lạc mất Ben, để rồi nổi loạn và tách biệt khỏi những người mà em yêu thương. Ben trở về khiến cho Vincent lại một lần nữa trở lại là Vincent (mình thực sự không thích họ chú thích chap cuối là Reese, phải là Vincent chứ?). Em lại một lần nữa trở thành một người anh tuyệt vời, là một người anh đáng tin cậy mà Ben biết rằng em "sẽ đến và tìm" nó, "ở nơi sâu thẳm trong tâm hồn ấy". Dù cho có là lúc hai đứa còn bé tí khi Ben trốn trong cái rương tủ hay khi là lúc em bỏ trốn về nhà bố George, Vincent vẫn đến và tìm được em, dẫn em-là chính Ben- trở về. Cái kết để mở với một Vincent trầm tư, lặng lẽ ở chỗ trường kỷ, chờ đợi buổi bình minh tới viết nên trang truyện mới cho cuộc đời gia đình Cappadora. Em đã trưởng thành lên nhiều hơn hẳn cái tuổi 16 của mình. Tương lai, chắc chắn em sẽ trở thành một người tốt, một người tuyệt vời. **Có lẽ truyện này sẽ được năm sao nếu như Vincent có được cái kết trọn vẹn hơn, khi biết rằng mình cũng được mẹ yêu thương và là một phần quan trọng không thể thiếu của gia đình.

  • Vivek Tejuja
    2019-03-02 16:19

    I have always been a fan of the books Oprah has recommended on her book club. It all began in 2001 I think and since then I have read some of the old ones recommended by her and some of the old ones. So I have decided to read all the books chosen by her – one after the other. What better place to start than the very beginning, isn’t it? The beginning came in the form of a dark, depressing and quite a hopeful book called, “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. When you read it, you cannot believe it is her debut. It is a story of a mother and her child and about every mother’s worst nightmare. Beth Cappadora is at her school reunion, all ready to check-in to her room, only to turn around and realize that her 3-year old son is missing. Everything changes in a split second. Her relationship with her husband, her children, her relatives, all of it – it just goes to smoke as she perpetually is in a grieving mode. I could not turn the pages enough of this one. It had me stuck from the word go. I would also suggest that you do not watch the movie of the same book as it just does not do justice to the book. While reading the book though, I felt myself grieving with Beth – almost scared to turn the page, to want good things to happen to her and her family. Mitchard’s writing is so simple and yet so heart-wrenching that if you are a parent you wouldn’t want to even imagine what would happen if this were to happen to you.“The Deep end of the Ocean” does not disappoint one single bit. This was another book for which I shouldn’t have waited this long. I should have read it sooner. However, better late than never I guess.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-13 21:13

    This book is about a kidnapping. It is told from the mother's point of view and the kidnapped child's brother. The characters really weren't that developed (and for me to notice that is saying something). The plot was predictable and I didn't even like the parents in the story, so I wasn't rooting for them. I only finished the book because I was hoping that something great would happen. It didn't.

  • Gemma
    2019-03-10 22:21

    I enjoyed this book. It is a story about a family who lose a child. The Mother, Beth takes the children away and asks her older son who is 7, to watch her younger son who is 3 whilst she takes care of a hotel booking - she is just across the lobby. When she returns, Ben is gone and is nowhere to be found. The book then follows the family, including extended family as they try to figure out what happened and where Ben has gone. Then, 10 years later Ben re-appears. (not a spoiler, it tells you on the back)I have read reviews where people say the story is too much coincidence, well I guess yes it is however the same reviewers have said that they checked the back first to see if the child was alive. Also a lot of reviews where the Mother is selfish, but in my opinion I think the author has dealt with this difficult story line really well, no one knows how they would react in this terrible situation, and Beth just completely shuts down, doesn't feel like a mother any more, more of a failure I guess. I feel that the author really handles this difficult subject & family emotions well.I have not given this 5 stars, as in places I felt it was a bit too descriptive, and also a bit jumpy. I would read the second one, and do recommend this.

  • Amy
    2019-02-21 15:12

    As the mother of small children, I didn't think I would have the stomach for the subject matter. But Mitchard is so good at slowly doling out the tidbits of info and clues, that I was compelled to keep going. As the product of an Italian-Irish union I found the extended families entirely relatable, and I thought the character of Candy was especially great. There were times when i didn't really understand Beth's behavior. If one of my kids went missing I think I would be personally turning over every rock...at least in the beginning. I couldn't understand why Beth was not running throughout the hotel screaming Ben's name and running around the nearby streets, instead of slumping into a ball in the lobby. I was also a little disappointed that all the loose ends were not exactly tied up at the end with regard to the central mystery (what exactly transpired with Ben in the hotel lobby before he disappeared, why the return of the second shoe?) Regardless, I found myself sobbing at the end, and not for the reasons I expected. I was especially moved by the sibling relationship and reminded of how intense and important it is.

  • Michael
    2019-02-25 14:20

    This book was like solving a 50 piece jigsaw puzzle, gathering all the pieces together. It was really hard to wrap my head around all the characters and the central story. However to my surprise, I really enjoyed the novel, it was provocative about a mother losing her absent minded son. Vincent her older son left a memorable impression on me as well, although he was ignored by Beth (his mother) who was only concerned about Ben and his whereabouts. Three three characters saved this book average rating, so that is always a good thing.I felt that there were so many things happening at once,but the characters were developed. Maybe not entirely but enough for me to determine whether they contributed the story or not.The writing style was good, not exceptional but it was easy reading. I will admit that I skimmed a lot of irrelevant details but again the central characters stuck out to me.The ending was a huge letdown but that is probably my own fault judging by the pages I skipped.Nevertheless, it was a good novel but I can't really recommend if cause I did not really understand what direction the book was going in.

  • Shelley
    2019-03-13 22:30

    I did not really care for this one. I can't really pinpoint why. Maybe it was that Beth was shallow and so empty inside and that seemed to be her before Ben was kidnapped. Maybe it was that even though his brother was supposed to watch him and didn't, there was never any real attempt made to tell the brother that it was really NOT his fault. MOM was the adult. MOM could have held on to him while they checked into the hotel. Lord knows I have done it enough with my 3 girls. You just don't sit them down with a non-responsible sibling and hope it all works out okay. Yes, sometimes it is a pain. You have to use one hand to hold the child and one to sign things or carry things or whatever. It just did not wash with me. Then, what a miracle, Ben shows up and is mowing the grass one day and finds out who he is. Now the boy is torn between the family he knows and the ones who want him back. I felt like it was not about him anymore. Beth seemed to only care that she got him back no matter what damage it caused him.I just really did not like it.

  • Tamara
    2019-03-10 22:40

    This book was a bit depressing, but ultimately I found it well worth reading. The story centers on a family dealing with the abduction of their three year old son. The mother sinks into depression and fails to parent her other two children, and, overall, everyone’s life deteriorates. The topic may not be a real draw for some readers, but life really does throw people under the bus sometimes and their lives are forever impacted. This is a well-constructed story about the effects a certain tragedy had on one family. I did have a hard time relating to the main character; it really bothered me that she couldn’t see how much her older son needed her. But, to me, that’s very good writing; it forced me to reflect on the inner-workings of a character very different from myself. The second part of the book and ending were truly excellent, and a testament to parental love. The ending is full of hope, a definite payoff for the reader.

  • Kathleen Bywater
    2019-03-06 15:12

    Although the author obviously has talent, she has wasted little of it on this book about characters with whom audiences do not wish to identify.The mother in this book is a basket case, completely uncaring about her family, and the reader finds himself unable to sympathize with her over the loss of her son. Most readers will sympathize with her husband instead; he has born the brunt of her problems for years and continues to do so after she loses her son at a class reunion.I really had problems getting into this book. Admittedly, at the end, it did leave me thinking about it somewhat, but it is slow and unrealistic. I don't consider this book to be any sort of "future classic." If I don't consider reading a book for a 2nd time, then something's wrong (my friends have always teased me about reading books over and over); this book was borrowed from a friend and returned promptly when I finished it.

  • Laurie
    2019-03-12 20:30

    This book was just ok. The plot-line was interesting but, honestly, the only character I liked was Reese/Vincent. Sam/Ben I liked, as well, but, since we did not really get to know him too well, this was a minor interest for me. I actually had a fondness for Reese. That poor kid! Anyone interested in psychology might find Reese and his struggles fascinating. And I strongly disliked Beth. For the main character that we followed in the book, that is not a good thing. I also felt the book was a tad long. While I get the approach of dwelling on things like Beth was (really in her mindset), it was too much for me many times. . .and, again, led to me not liking Beth. I wanted her to pull herself together and/or get help. I got excited about mid-book and then started checking out again. Overall, the Reese and Sam relationship was the most intriguing to me and I felt that the story/plot could have been told in a way that allowed me to connect better.