Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
Release Date: 6th July 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Genres:  Thriller
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.

The sun is shining.
The sea is blue.
The children have disappeared...
Do Not Become Alarmed

‘Here is that perfect combination of a luminous writer and a big, page-turning story’
Helen Fielding

‘This is the book that every reader longs for: smart and thrilling and impossible to put down’
Ann Patchett


Nora and Liv are cousins and decide to take their families on a cruise over Christmas and the New Year.  As someone who is desperate to go on a cruise I was instantly interested in this story when it was offered to me. I thought............what could possibly go wrong!? The first few chapters of the book leads the readers into a false sense of security with both sets of families enjoying themselves and relaxing. They are close, sharing many aspects of their lives and everyone seems to get on. During the cruise they befriend a family from Argentina and while docked in Central America the men decide to go and play golf while the women and children book themselves on a zip line adventure day. However, things don't go according to plan and a flat tyre and car accident soon sees the familes plans change and a dramatic course of events sees all 6 children go missing. Where are they? Who has them? Are they still alive?
The interesting thing for me was how quickly the relationship dynamics changed between Liv and Nora when faced with the mounting terror of not knowing whether their children are alive or dead. The Argentinian couple Gunther and Camila are isolated because they are not American and Gunther feels the blame lies with the American women and not his own wife, believing that the Americans should have been more responsible. There seems to be a lot of secrecy involving Pedro the tour guide. Just what went on during that day?  Everyone is playing the blame game, saying and doing stupid things. The book cleverly explores how even the most sensible people can make the stupidest mistakes when faced with the most unimaginable circumstances. The relationship between the children too soon becomes one that is changed forever by their experiences.
When I picked this book up I had planned to spend a couple of hours getting stuck into it and then finishing it the next day. However, by midnight I was still there reading and couldn't put it down. Its a fantastic and gripping read and as a mother who lost both her children in the supermarket for a mere 5 minutes, I cannot begin to imagine the pain, anguish and frustration of losing children in a foreign country where the police do not seem to be terribly helpful and the language barrier creates all manner of difficulty. I found the tension mounting throughout the book and while the conclusion was not what I had entirely expected it was not an unsatisfactory ending. The reader is left wondering what could have been done differently by the parents, the police and even the children themselves. A highly recommended read.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Become-Alarmed-Maile-Meloy-ebook/dp/B01N3876LS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499712706&sr=1-1&keywords=do+not+become+alarmed https://www.amazon.com/Do-Not-Become-Alarmed-Novel/dp/0735216525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499712830&sr=8-1&keywords=do+not+become+alarmed 

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