No Time to Wave Goodbye takes place thirteen years after the conclusion of Mitchard’s novel The Deep End of the Ocean. Vincent, the oldest Cappadora son, has recently produced a documentary film about five families who have suffered the effects of child abduction. Ben, the younger Cappadora boy, who was abducted in the first book and found nine years later, completely unharmed but with a new name and new parents, of course helped Vincent with the film as he was its inspiration. On the night of the Academy Awards, just when the Cappadora family thinks their life couldn’t possibly be any more perfect, tragedy strikes, and suddenly everyone is thrust back into the same nightmare they suffered over a decade ago.
I have to apologize that even that small summary I wrote absolutely HAD to contain spoilers for The Deep End of the Ocean. So, if you plan to read that in the future, please just stop reading this review – I really don’t want to spoil anything for you!
As soon as I heard about this book, I was anxious to read it because I’d loved The Deep End of the Ocean when I first read it years ago. I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to the Cappadora family since the book’s conclusion. I have to admit to being a little disappointed in this sequel, but really that’s a testament to my high expectations for it. There really were a lot of good things about the novel.
First of all, Mitchard has a real talent for creating complex, realistic, interesting characters that are anything but one-note. While I got to know Beth, Pat, and Vincent Cappadora in the first book, Mitchard really develops their characters quite a bit further in No Time to Wave Goodbye. The reader can really see how the trajectory of all of their lives were so influenced by Ben’s kidnapping. All of the characters in the book, including Ben and Kerry (who was just a baby when he was kidnapped), were profoundly changed by the events of thirteen years ago, and what happens in No Time to Wave Goodbye really shows that.
I definitely enjoyed the plot of this novel. There was just enough suspense to keep me going, to keep me on my toes as I read (or, in my case, listened) about this family. I did have an issue with the pacing, though – I felt like there wasn’t enough action in the first half of the book. The main plot in the novel – the tragedy that occurs – doesn’t take place until almost halfway through, and I just wish Mitchard had spent less time developing things and more time just getting to the main focus of the story. Still, I was interested to know as much as I could about the Cappadoras so I can’t say that I disliked the lead-in to the main event. But I think portions could have been omitted and the action could have been a larger part of the story.
Overall, No Time to Wave Goodbye was a nice conclusion to the Cappadora family for me. I loved learning more about these characters, and while the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I’m still glad I read it. If you read and enjoyed The Deep End of the Ocean, I would recommend following it up with No Time to Wave Goodbye.