When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.
One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.
What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.
What I Thought:
What a nightmare situation to be in! Ask any parent their worst fear regarding their kids, and aside from the usual fears that they’ll get into drugs or never have a job, it’s got to be the kids going missing.
In Do Not Become Alarmed, Maile Meloy captures all the intense feelings that would go along with the disappearance of your children – even the title of the book is perfect, as the families in the book are told this numerous times, all while their world is falling apart!
This book was definitely refreshing to read, as it is a new – and dramatic – take on the domestic drama. There are things afoot in these two families, secrets, inequalities, feelings of inadequacy and all come to a head on what should be a peaceful Christmas cruise.
Looking from the outside it’s easy to see that these are priviledged families, with spoiled children who have never had to lift a finger and it’s compelling to watch the kids try to cope when they are lost, and when they are in real danger of their lives, not really realising that the people they turn to for help could do them actual harm. It’s good too to see Noemi’s story and the contrast of her journey to that of the American children is a real insight.
Told in alternating chapters between the kids and their parents, this book is as close as one would like to come to having children disappear, with real edge-of-your-seat writing and some awful, unimaginable scenes, it is the combination of the big, dangerous experiences of the children and the quiet, nightmarish panic from the parents that really makes this a brilliant read.
This review is part of a blog tour in advance of the release of Do Not Become Alarmed. There are lots of other great blogs taking part, with reviews, extracts and exclusive content. Please do check them out as below:
Note: I was sent this book to enable participation in the blog tour and for review purposes. All opinions are, as ever, my own.