Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 4/5
The sun is shining, the sea is blue, the children have disappeared.
When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship’s comfort and ease. The four children—ages six to eleven—love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.
The disintegration of the world the families knew—told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children—is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed.
Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and an insightful look at privileged illusions of safety. Celebrated for her spare and moving fiction, Maile Meloy has written a gripping novel about how quickly what we count on can fall away, and the way a crisis shifts our perceptions of what matters most.
A cruise excursion goes terribly wrong. Three mothers, each with a daughter and a son, take their kids on an excursion from their cruise ship. While the mothers are distracted, the kids go missing.
The story is told from different points of view, some of the kids and some of the adults. I enjoyed seeing what was going on with both sides of the search for the missing kids.
I was constantly annoyed by several of the characters. Both the adults and kids made some poor decisions, and then kept making them. There was some weak character development and the story was a bit messy at times. That said, I stayed up late to finish the book because I wanted to see how it would all end. In the end, I thought it was an exciting thriller. Also, I never want to take my eyes off my child for a second, ever.