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on 12 December 2000
I have been interested in reading this novel since I saw the movie earlier this year, and also as it was recommended in Oprah's Book Club. I was not disappointed by my choice. This novel shows a real family in crisis. No one is the villain, but no one is a complete saint. Each character in the Cappadora family is a whole person to whom I could relate and with whom I could empathise totally.
I felt the author worked best in showing Beth's point of view, and the plot was lost by following reece towards the end. Such a lot of loose ends were suddenly tied and discarded with too many questions unanswered for me to be totally satisfied with the book. The only character I had problems in believing was Sam because I couldn't believe he couldn't go unffected by a catatonic mother who was admitted to a mental institution. I think there was more depth needed for the character.
Overall, I found this book an emotional and truly moving read which I also read in three days as I didn't want to leave it. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an emotional family drama.
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on 17 April 2000
Very well written, with characters that you can sympathise with, detest and love at different stages of the book.
When I ordered the book I did not realise that it had now been made into a film. The cover showed Michelle Pfeiffer playing the main character of Beth, and once I began reading could not imagine anyone else better cast for this role.
I agree with the first reviewer that a lot of different issues are raised throughout the book, but it is not beyond reason why all this different things would arise in such circumstances.
I read the book in three days, it's tense, emotional, poignant and funny. Well worth a read!
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on 4 June 2010
I wasn't sure that I'd like this book at first as the characters were very difficult to sympathise with. But as the story progressed I came to realise that what makes the plot so complex is the flawed nature of the characters. I've read another of Mitchard's novels, A Theory of Relativity, and found the characters rather annoying. In this case, their flaws made them fascinating rather than irritating, and eventually this book became impossible to put down. Not having any children myself, it was hard to imagine how I'd act in such a situation but I still really felt the pain that the family was going through in their grief. I did feel like there were a couple of lose ends that weren't completely tied up at the end about the kidnapper, but all in all I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel. Recommended to fans of Jodi Picoult and Barbara Delinsky.
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on 25 May 2004
I highly recommend this book. It gave rise to a long discussion between my husband and I as to what we would do if the same thing (heaven forbid) happened to our son. Beth and Vincent are really fascinating characters. My heart went out to Beth but I couldn't help thinking if she had just stopped wallowing in her sorrow that she could have helped Vincent out so much more in his life. I would definetly read more by this author.
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on 23 November 2003
A story of great sadness which leaves their mark on each of the characters concerned in one way or another. A good beginning and a good ending but some of the content in between was a bit dry making it difficult to keep up with the main storyline. In conclusion, not a bad read!!
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on 21 June 2000
I found the start of this book quite hard to get into and almost give up on it , but once you reach the point where the child is taken the book carries it self right along. You will find yourselves turning page after page and finishing it in no time. The book takes you to a place that would seem like your worst nightmare come true if it ever happened to you. As you read it you want to shake, hug, laugh, and especially cry with the characters.
Buy it, read it and enjoy. Then do what I do, rent the movie and watch how they can leave out many of the good parts.
This would make a good book to take on vacation.
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on 4 February 2013
Excellent, page-turning whammy of a book - have loved her later books, but to find this was her first!! Marvellous.
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on 8 January 2000
This story kept me hooked but there were so many themes within the novel that they eventually weakened it. The story of how a mother copes with the loss of a child, told from the mother's point of view was enough, and excellently told. Emerging themes of family rifts, juvenile delinquenty, reunions, and marriage breakdown were a bit too much. A very good read though.
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on 6 October 2000
This book was the first book I have read where the complexities of family life are really represented. No-one is a saint and no-one a sinner. The hum-drum of family life is depicted, making the kidnapping all the more extraordinary. I felt the author got a bit lost towards the end but nonetheless I read it cover to cover in a couple of days.
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on 19 May 2005
at times i found this incredibly moving. although i don't have children i could imagine the trauma of losing a child and then the myriad of problems faced later. quite a good read
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