NO TIME TO WAVE GOODBYE
Jacqueline Mitchard’s newest book No Time to Wave Goodbye was just released and I devoured it. It is the riveting sequel to Deep End of the Ocean, Mitchard’s first novel which was chosen as Oprah’s first Book Club entry in September 1996. As the new novel opens, Beth Cappadora is about to watch the premier of her oldest son Vincent’s documentary film about the trauma of family life after a child is abducted or lost. Mitchard cuts through each tortured documentary family member’s personality and Beth Cappadora’s own tattered soul as she is forced to watch the terror of the days after her son Ben was kidnapped enfold on screen. It has been a decade since I read the Deep End, but the characters rematerialized in No Time to Wave Goodbye with consistency, suspense and every flaw intact. Although years have passed since the Cappadora family reunited with their middle son Ben, the wounds of the trauma are still palpable. The parental units and children have grown, healed a bit, modified, adjusted, and now share new places in each other’s lives. A certain settling in process has transpired over the years with a rather uneasy peace.
The family revels in the joy and success of Vincent’s documentary but ultimately the exposure creates new horrors that force the Cappadoras’ to painfully trudge down another dark but familiar alley. This time the roles are switched, and the painstaking search for one of their own brings new awareness and surprising insights. I expect sharp storytelling and wonderful prose from Ms. Mitchard and I’m thankful that she brought this First Family of Cappadoras back for another round of enlightenment. It may be hard to picture how a book with this rare, dark content could have a universal quality to it because thankfully child abduction is a relatively rare occurrence. The book and theme work, because in No Time to Wave Goodbye Jacqueline Mitchard successfully exposes the coping strategies, shells and personas we all employ as humans. It left me feeling like adaptation and the love that demands it, are perhaps the most important human survival traits of all.