book review: No Time to Wave Goodbye

Title: No Time to Wave Goodbye
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
ISBN: 978-1400067749
Pages: 228
Publisher: Random House (September 15, 2009)
Category: fiction
Review source: author
Rating: 3.5/5

“You should be scared to death,” Ben said. “Vincent, you should be scared to shut your eyes in case you die and there really is a hell. I let you talk me into doing this movie and you know why? Because I figured, he’s a loser. He’s been a loser all his life. I got a wife I’m crazy about. I got a life. I’m having a baby. What’s he got? He’s making Internet cartoons and he’s almost thirty, so I think, maybe this will do him good. Make him act not so much like an asshole. But what happens instead…to me? To Eliza and Candy and your own dear, dear parents? What happens is what always happens when you touch it . . .”

No Time to Wave Goodbye re-visits the Cappadora family since Beth Cappadora’s three-year-old son, Ben, was abducted. That story was revealed with page-turning grace and empathy by Jacquelyn Mitchard in The Deep End of the Ocean. Beth nearly destroyed her marriage and the lives of her other son Vincent and her daughter Kerry. She cocooned for a year and ignored everyone and everything around her. When Ben returned, he had a new name and a “new family.” It was complicated. Now, Vincent, who’s been the family screw up for many years, is an aspiring filmmaker and has made a documentary about abducted children. It stirs up awful memories in Beth and her husband Pat and although Ben agreed to participate in it, when his own daughter gets abducted after the film wins an Academy Award, the family risks being torn apart once again.

In every moment of No Time to Wave Goodbye, Mitchard forces the Cappadoras to confront everything that occurred in the past in order to come together to find Ben’s daughter and to heal the bonds that once held the family so strongly together. Ben is bitter toward Vincent. Their mother hits him in defense of Vincent. Feelings come out that may never have been revealed if this tragedy had never happened and while it is a tragedy at the same time, Mitchard shows that in tragedy, some families find the power and will to pull together as a single more powerful unit that can battle the most evil of people and circumstances. She captures the family dynamics wonderfully. Mitchard has written another heartfelt story and while a bit predictable, you want to keep reading No Time to Wave Goodbye once you pick it up and you will not forget its final haunting conclusion.

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