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The Deep End of the Ocean 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, 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 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 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 mucheffective way Avoid this book unless you just want a heaping pile of emotion with no rational thought I m hesitant to outline the book s plot for fear of giving out too much information However, since most reviews of the book give away the plot and because the story has also been made into a movie, I ll proceed Be aware, though, that possible spoilers lie ahead SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT Beth Cappadora, excited about her 15 year high school reunion, packs up her three kids Vincent, 7 Ben, 3 and infant Kerry and her niece babysitter and drives from Madison, Wisconsi I m hesitant to outline the book s plot for fear of giving out too much information However, since most reviews of the book give away the plot and because the story has also been made into a movie, I ll proceed Be aware, though, that possible spoilers lie ahead SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT Beth Cappadora, excited about her 15 year high school reunion, packs up her three kids Vincent, 7 Ben, 3 and infant Kerry and her niece babysitter and drives from Madison, Wisconsin to the Chicago hotel that s hosting the festivities.While Beth is doing some business at the hotel s busy reception desk Ben disappears Police, family, and friends search all over for days, but Ben is simply gone.Beth and her husband Pat are shattered by the loss, and their remaining two children suffer from their parents distraction.In time Pat isor less able to go on with his life and his job helping run his uncle s restaurant in Madison Beth, however, can t seem to recover at all She sleeps most of the time and, even when she s awake, Beth isn t really there.The Cappadoras try attending a support group, which is of very limited assistance.Vincent, who was supposed to be keeping an eye on Ben when he vanished, develops serious behavior problems These become worse as he approaches adolescence and Vincent becomes a bully, gets into fights, and repeatedly gets into trouble at school.Vincent is sent to a therapist but does all he can to avoid addressing his real issues thinking he s pulling the wool over his therapist s eyes.After a health crisis the Cappadoras move back to Chicago, where their extended family still lives And miracle of miracles nine years after he vanished Ben shows up on the Cappadora s doorstep looking for a lawn mowing job The reunion isn t the total blessing Beth and Pat would have hoped for however Ben doesn t remember them at all and has a fierce attachment to his new family the woman who kidnapped him now severely mentally ill and her husband George To top it off George is a complete innocent in all this he accepted Ben as his wife s child, adopted him, and dearly loves the boy The latter part of the book is especially heart rending as Ben s two families must cope with everything that s happened What s everyone supposed to do now Are Vincent and Kerry going to welcome their new sibling How does Ben cope with being a stranger in his own family How does Pat deal with another dad in the picture What s going to happen to the kidnapper The book tells a compelling story, the writing is good, and the characters seemor less true to life I had great sympathy for Beth but didn t like her much She wallows in her grief for too long and makes almost no attempt to be there for the family she still has The other characters, especially Pat, seem to do the best they can in very difficult circumstances.In the end I felt the book was too long and overly melodramatic.The story reminded me of an afternoon special on Lifetime TV The story rates 3 stars for me but to be completely fair I think some other readers might like the book better.You can follow my reviews at The Deep End of the Ocean Cappadora Family 1 , Jacquelyn MitchardSpoiler AlertThe Deep End of the Ocean is a best selling novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard, released in 1996 Wisconsin photographer and housewife Beth Cappadora leaves her youngest son, Ben, alone with his older brother for a brief moment in a crowded Chicago hotel lobby, while attending her high school reunion The older son lets go of Ben s hand and Ben vanishes without a trace Beth goes into an extended mental breakdown and it is The Deep End of the Ocean Cappadora Family 1 , Jacquelyn MitchardSpoiler AlertThe Deep End of the Ocean is a best selling novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard, released in 1996 Wisconsin photographer and housewife Beth Cappadora leaves her youngest son, Ben, alone with his older brother for a brief moment in a crowded Chicago hotel lobby, while attending her high school reunion The older son lets go of Ben s hand and Ben vanishes without a trace Beth goes into an extended mental breakdown and it is left to her husband and owner of a restaurant, Pat, to force his wife to robotically care for their remaining two children, 7 year old Vincent and infant daughter Kerry.Nine years later a young boy named Sam asks Beth if she needs the lawn mowed Beth suspects that this boy who lives with his father two blocks away is in fact her lost son, and while Sam mows the lawn, she takes photographs of him to show to her husband and teenage son, who then says that he suspected the boy s true identity all along The parents contact Detective Candy Bliss who pops in to offer wise, albeit often cryptic and conflicting, advice to Beth It is learned that at the reunion in Chicago, the celebrity alumna Cecil Lockhart kidnapped Ben, renamed him Sam, and raised him as her own child until she was committed to a mental hospital, leaving Sam to be raised in a house only two blocks from the Cappadoras, by his adoptive father, the sensitive and intellectual George Karras 2009 1386 567 9789643583125 201995 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.

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