Book Review: No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

no time to wave goodbyeTitle: No Time to Wave Goodbye
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Random House
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from GoodReads First Reads program
First line: Before dawn on the day she would finally see his first real film, Beth Cappadora slipped into the guest room and lay down on the edge of the bed where her son, Vincent, slept.

When I received No Time to Wave Goodbye from GoodReads, I discovered that it was a sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean (the link will take you to my review). I’m a bit obsessive about reading series books in order, so I requested the first book from the library, read it, and found it excellent. After finishing it, I was glad to know that No Time to Wave Goodbye would continue the story of the Cappadora family, because I felt so strongly for the characters.

Spoiler alert: this review will contain spoilers for The Deep End of the Ocean. If you haven’t read it yet, consider yourself warned. :)

It’s been a dozen or so years since the events at the end of The Deep End of the Ocean. Beth and Pat Cappadora have a tentative relationship with Ben, now known as Sam, the boy who was kidnapped at age three and found again at age 12. Beth is trying to rebuild her relationship with her older son, Vincent, who felt the brunt of Beth’s despair and grief over the loss of Ben.

After spending his teenage years in rebellion, Vincent is trying to make something of his life, and has started a film company. The book opens on the day that Vincent is showing his family and friends his first real film. Beth doesn’t know that the film is a documentary about several families who lost a child to kidnapping or murder and whose cases were never resolved. Beth’s pride at what Vincent has done wars with her angst about the sorrow, anger, and anxiety being brought to the surface again.

When Vincent’s film is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, the Cappadora family is once again put in the bulls-eye of the press, and this time tragedy strikes Ben and his wife, Eliza. Will the family be able to withstand yet one more personal disaster? What will it mean for the fragile relationships between Beth and Vincent, Vincent and Ben?

I very much enjoyed learning the fate of the Cappadora family, and especially Vincent, who seemed to be an unrecognized victim in the initial kidnapping and recovery of Ben/Sam. I only wish that the writing was as good as it was in The Deep End of the Ocean, or another of my favorite Mitchard books, The Breakdown Lane. There were certain phrases and scenes in No Time to Wave Goodbye that gave a glimpse of the brilliant wordcraft of which Mitchard is capable, but parts of the book felt extremely rushed and patched together. I never had trouble following the story while reading The Deep End of the Ocean, but I did while reading the sequel.

While this wasn’t as good of a read as the original, I still think readers who loved the Cappadora family will want to read about how things turned out for them.

Disclosure: The above link is an Amazon Affiliates link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage.

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12 Responses to Book Review: No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I had heard this one wasn’t the novel that the first was. I did enjoy Deep End of the Ocean, but oh it was terrifying. You could literally feel the raw emotion coming off the page. Too bad some of that mojo was lost.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Monday Movie Meme – We Are the Champions =-.

  2. nomadreader
    Twitter: nomadreader
    says:

    We tweeted about this last night, but I still plan to read it. I have low expectations, but I do love a good sequel! I am glad to know The Breakdown Lane is another favorite Mitchard book! I’ve only read Deep End of the Ocean, and she’s been quite prolific since then, so I’m glad to have some guidance!
    .-= nomadreader´s last blog ..book review: Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Nomadreader – if you do audios, The Breakdown Lane is one of my favorite audios of all time – the reader is fantastic.

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s always a disappointment when the sequel doesn’t live up to the original book. I really want to read The Deep End of the Ocean, though, since everyone seems to love it.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

  4. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna
    says:

    Okay, I had no idea this book was a sequel, so I only read the first paragraph of your review! I guess I’ll go dig out The Deep End of the Ocean!
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Far From Home – Anne deGrace =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Swapna – I don’t think that its sequel status was revealed in the marketing for some reason.

  5. I read Deep End of the Ocean back when Oprah was talking about it. It was such a heart wrenching book. I felt for that little boy and also his mother. For some reason, I haven’t been able to drum up much enthusiasm in regards to reading the sequel. I’m sure I will get around to it one of these days though. I won’t be able to resist.

    I’m sorry this one didn’t live up to the first book. I always worry that will be true with most sequels. Maybe that’s why I’m hesitating with this one.

  6. Pingback: Mommy Brain » Bookish stuff

  7. Pingback: The Sunday Salon – December 6, 2009 (the “November reading wrap-up” edition) | BOOKS AND MOVIES

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