Synopsis from Goodreads:
From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation – and the children go missing.
When Liv and Nora decide to take their families on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. The children – two eleven-year-olds, an eight-year-old, and a six-year-old—love the nonstop buffet and the independence they have at the Kids’ Club. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor misfortunes leads the families farther and farther from the ship’s safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.
What follows is a riveting, revealing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the once-happy parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their lives.
Celebrated for her ability to write vivid, spare, moving fiction, Maile Meloy shows how quickly the life we count on can fall away, and how a crisis changes everyone’s priorities. The fast-paced, gripping plot of Do Not Become Alarmed carries with it an insightful, provocative examination of privilege, race, guilt, envy, the dilemmas of modern parenthood, and the challenge of living up to our own expectations.
(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)
Omg this book. I finished it 3 nights ago and I’m so emotionally exhausted. It took me on a JOURNEY. I loved this book! It was fast paced, very detailed, and fantastic. I can’t stop thinking about it. Highly recommend this one!
Although I LOVED it, I do have some criticism. All of the parents were so completely unlikable and their actions weren’t consistent with parents who have just lost their children. They were so consumed with their own drama while a massive search was underway looking for their missing kids! There were a few ridiculous and unnecessary scenes, most of them involving the parents. My other criticism speaks to the large amount of characters in this story. It was so hard to keep them all straight and more than once I actually considered making myself a chart to reference while I read (I would actually suggest doing this, I wish I had).
Overall despite some flaws, it was a fantastic book and a very quick read. My heart was truly racing during a few chapters…a sign of a great book. Definitely recommend this one!
Should you read this book? Absolutely. Should you ever go on vacation anywhere ever again for the rest of your life? Probably not.