"No Time to Wave Goodbye"
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Random House, 234 pages, $25
If you loved Jacquelyn Mitchard's wonderful book "The Deep End of the Ocean," you may wonder why she would want to tack on a sequel.
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In "Deep End," Mitchard tells the story of Beth Cappadora and her family's struggle to deal with unending heartache after 3-year-old Ben is kidnapped. It's a beautifully written story that deserved its best-seller status.
Now Mitchard takes up the family's story years later in "No Time to Wave Goodbye." The children are grown. Ben is married, with a child of his own. After all these years, he's still feeling uncomfortable with his birth family.
Ben's brother, Vincent, a troubled teen when last seen, is now a documentary filmmaker experiencing his first big success. His film, "No Time to Wave Goodbye," looks at five families of kidnapped children who have never learned what happened to them.
Unbelieveably, at this moment of triumph, the family is again plunged into disaster. Ben's baby daughter is kidnapped.
Mitchard tells the story in poignant detail. The characters are well drawn, but the premise is strained.
"Beth thought greedily, she would do that - the cuddling, the changing, the feeding, carrying Stella in to Eliza only once. Ostensibly, it was to let the young couple have a night to rest. But Beth had not wakened to a baby in so long. ... Did mothers who'd had the full complement of years with their children yearn this way, she wondered? Was it even more poignant? ... The years of her motherhood had been cored by Ben's loss."
How could someone who had suffered through a kidnapping ever allow another child to be so vulnerable? Wouldn't you have strict rules for anyone caring for your child?
"No Time to Wave Goodbye" never seems to live up to the original. Mitchard would have done better to use her talent on a new subject.