The Deep End of the Ocean

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Overview

"Watch your brother," says Beth Cappadora to her seven-year-old son, Vincent. She's checking in at her high school reunion in Chicago. Even with a hotel clerk who is, in Beth's estimation, slower than weight loss, it's not more than five minutes before she turns again and asks, "Where's Ben?" It's the moment every mother dreads. Three-year-old Ben is gone. And no one can find him. Despite a police search that will turn into a nation-wide obsession, Ben has vanished, seemingly without a trace. His disappearance will leave Beth frozen on a
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Overview

"Watch your brother," says Beth Cappadora to her seven-year-old son, Vincent. She's checking in at her high school reunion in Chicago. Even with a hotel clerk who is, in Beth's estimation, slower than weight loss, it's not more than five minutes before she turns again and asks, "Where's Ben?" It's the moment every mother dreads. Three-year-old Ben is gone. And no one can find him. Despite a police search that will turn into a nation-wide obsession, Ben has vanished, seemingly without a trace. His disappearance will leave Beth frozen on a knife-edge of suppressed agony for nine years and drive a shattering wedge through her marriage to Pat - who, though he is a man of consummate kindness, can do nothing to bring his boy back. It will transform their other son, Vincent, into a delinquent who courts danger in an attempt to break the bell jar of silence that surrounds the whole Cappadora family. Then, just after the Cappadoras move back to Chicago to help start a family restaurant, something so unexpected happens, it changes everything that once seemed true or possible. And perhaps, only perhaps, it will give Beth what she thought was gone forever: a reason to live
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Editorial Reviews

Newsweek
A first-rate new storyteller.
The Boston Globe
Possesses a white-water momentum nearly as dynamic as its emotional pull.
Los Angeles Times
Masterfully paced....A story...of one family's slow tumble back into light.
People Magazine
A drama with the tension of a thriller...that moves deeply into the emotional territory of family ties.
From Barnes & Noble
When her three-year-old boy disappears, Beth Cappadora and her older son fall into a silent abyss from which it seems they will never emerge, until one hopeful day changes their lives forever. "A blockbuster read..." --Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451197740
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 2/1/1999
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the author of the bestselling novel The Deep End of the Ocean and of two nonfiction books, including Mother Less Child: The Love Story of a Family. She has been featured on NBC's Today Show and CBS This Morning, and has been profiled in such national publications as People and Newsweek. A contributing editor to Ladies? Home Journal, Mitchard and her five children live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

"Jacquelyn Mitchard has considered changing her name legally to The Deep End of the Ocean. This is because her own name is much less well-known than the title of her first book," so read the opening lines of Mitchard's biography on her web site. Granted, the writer is best known for the novel that holds the distinct honor of being the very first pick in Oprah Winfrey's book club, but Mitchard is also responsible for a number of other bestsellers, all baring her distinctive ability to tackle emotional subject matter without lapsing into cloying sentimentality.

Mitchard got her start as a newspaper journalist in the ‘70s, but first established herself as a writer to watch in 1985 when she published Mother Less Child, a gut wrenching account of her own miscarriage. Though autobiographical in nature, Mother Less Child introduced the themes of grief and coping that would often resurface in her fiction. These themes were particularly prevalent in the debut novel that would nab Mitchard her greatest notoriety. The Deep End of the Ocean tells of the depression that grips a woman and her son following the disappearance of her younger son. Like Mother Less Child, the novel was also based on a personal tragedy, the death of her husband, and the author's very real grief contributes to the emotional authenticity of the book.

The Deep End of the Ocean became a commercial and critical smash, lauded by every publication from People Magazine to Newsweek. It exemplified Mitchard's unique approach to her subject. In lesser hands, such a story might have sunk into precious self-reflection. However Mitchard approaches her story as equal parts psychological drama and suspenseful thriller. "I like to read stories in which things happen," she told Book Reporter. "I get very impatient with books that are meditations - often beautiful ones - on a single character's thoughts and reactions. I like a story that roller coasters from one event to the next, peaks and valleys."

The Deep End of the Ocean undoubtedly changed Mitchard's life. She was still working part time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison writing speeches when the novel got Oprah's seal of approval and went into production as a major motion picture starring Michelle Pfeiffer. She didn't even consider leaving her job until, as she recounted to Book Slut.com, "my boss finally said to me, ‘You know, kiddo, people whose books have sold this many copies and are being made into movies don't have this part-time job.'" So, she left her job despite misgivings and embarked upon a writing career that would produce such powerful works as The Most Wanted, Twelve Times Blessed, and The Breakdown Lane. She has also written two non-fictional volumes about peace activist Jane Addams.

Mitchard's latest Cage of Stars tells of Veronica Swan, a twelve-year old girl living in a Mormon community whose life is completely upturned when her sisters are murdered. Again, a story of this nature could have easily played out as a banal tear jerker, but Mitchard allows Veronica to take a more active role in the novel, setting out to avenge the death of her sisters. Consequently, Case of Stars is another example of Mitchard's ability to turn the tables on convention and produce a story with both emotional resonance and a page-turning narrative, making for a novel created with the express purpose of pleasing her fans. "Narrative is not in fashion in the novels of our current era; reflection is," she told Book Reporter. "But buying a book and reading it is a substantial investment of time and money. I want to take readers on a journey full circle. They deserve it."

Good To Know

Mitchard is certainly most famous for her sophisticated adult novels, yet she has also written two children's novels, Rosalie and Starring Prima, as well as Baby Bat's Lullaby, a picture book. She currently has three new children's books in development.

Now that Mitchard has officially scored a successful writing career, what could be left for the writer to achieve? Well, according to her web site, her "truest ambition" is to make an appearance on the popular TV show Law and Order.

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Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Deep End of the Ocean is a story about every parent's worst nightmare: the loss of a child. It is a story that is all too familiar to many of us, made frighteningly routine by the young faces emblazoned on milk cartons or steeped in pathos by Hollywood scriptwriters. In Jacquelyn Mitchard's deft hands, however, the story of the Cappadora family is neither routine nor cliched. It is chillingly and beautifully real.

 

ABOUT JACQUELYN MITCHARD

Jacquelyn Mitchard's venture into fiction with her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, marks the latest evolution in her diverse and distinguished career as a writer. A native of Chicago, Mitchard graduated from the University of Illinois and Rockford College and became a newspaper reporter. From 1984 to 1988 she was metro reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Her weekly column, "The Rest of Us," has appeared in the Journal for over a decade and will be nationally syndicated starting in September 1996.

Praise

"The Deep End of the Ocean burns itself into the memory line by line. It is by turns lyrical and startling, brilliant." —Kaye Gibbons

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH JACQUELYN MITCHARD

The Truth Depends on Who's Telling It

How did you come to write The Deep End of the Ocean?

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Beth and Pat deal with their grief over Ben in quite different ways: while Pat goes through the "normal stages," Beth is by turn stoic and hysterical; at times she feels as if her slightest move would cause an avalanche. What is this avalanche about? Do you think it is characteristic of men and women to deal with grief—or the loss of a child—differently?
     
  2. Beth Cappadora in no way resembles an ideal mother, yet no one could question her love for her children. How does Beth express this love? Do you think she was a "sloppy" mother before Ben's disappearance? And after?
     
  3. Beth points out that the divorce rate of grieving parents is eighty percent. Why is it so hard to sustain a marriage after losing a child? And why do you think Beth and Pat are able to stay together throughout their ordeal? Do you think their marriage will ultimately succeed?
     
  4. Mitchard reveals Vincent to us in stages, allowing us to see him develop from a typical older brother to a troubled teenager. How effectively does she convey Vincent's complex feelings about the loss of Ben and about his parents? How does Ben's disappearance—and Vincent's own role in the incident—shape his personality as he grows older?
     
  5. Both Vincent and Ben are known to the outside world by different names. What is the significance of these "aliases"? Why does Mitchard herself refer to Vincent as Reese in his named chapters? In your own mind, which names are the most appropriate for each boy?
     
  6. In many instances Beth reacts angrily when her family expresses hope for Ben's return. Do you think it would have been easier on the family if they were to discover—or have a real reason to believe—that Ben had died? Why is the possibility of his being alive so painful to Beth? Do you fault her for being willing to believe that her son is dead?
     
  7. Although it is difficult to imagine how any good could come out of the Cappadoras' tragedy and its aftermath, can you make an argument for what is often referred to as the "healing power of grief"? Has anyone in the family benefited from the experience of losing Ben? What kind of family would they have become had their lives not been torn apart?
     
  8. Watching Sam (Ben) interact with her family, Beth thinks to herself that he is "not of this world." She realizes that George and Cecilia were loving, caring parents; perhaps in some ways better parents than she and Pat would have been. Do you think that Sam—and the Cappadora family—would have been better off if they had remained strangers? What parts of his personality as their birth child were preserved over the course of his years with George? How is he the Cappadoras' child, and how is he George's child?
     
  9. The title, The Deep End of the Ocean, refers to Ben's first, timid reaction to a large body of water. Later in the novel, Beth reflects that Ben has indeed been to the ocean's deep end, and returned. What does the title mean to you? How have other members of the Cappadora family been to The Deep End of the Ocean?
     
  10. Recurring throughout the novel is the image of a cedar chest—as a coffin, as a storage for keepsakes, as a hiding place for Ben. What does the image of the chest evoke for you? Is it fearful or comforting? Claustrophobic or cozy? Why would a child be drawn to such an object?
     
  11. Reunions play an important role throughout the story. What different kinds of reunions take place? Are these events generally pleasant or painful experiences for the characters involved?
     
  12. After Ben's disappearance, Beth ceases to communicate with just about everybody, except Candy. Why do you think Beth turns to Candy instead of all the other people who love her and have tried to help her?
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Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

The Deep End of the Ocean is a story about every parent's worst nightmare: the loss of a child. It is a story that is all too familiar to many of us, made frighteningly routine by the young faces emblazoned on milk cartons or steeped in pathos by Hollywood scriptwriters. In Jacquelyn Mitchard's deft hands, however, the story of the Cappadora family is neither routine nor cliched. It is chillingly and beautifully real.

Photographer Beth Cappadora is far from the ideal mother and wife. She is harried, impatient, disorganized, and ambivalent about her husband and her kids‹faults that come back to haunt her after her middle child disappears in a crowded hotel lobby. The ensuing decade of unbelievable grief and pain, of Beth's attempt at recreating a life after her son disappears, is lovingly documented in this electrifying novel. Like photographs in a family album, scenes from Beth's life are offered in startling detail: the scoops of coffee she forces herself to measure out each day; snatches of conversation between a husband and wife doggedly trying to return to a normal life; the cynical observations of her oldest child as he struggles to be noticed and loved; the "purple elephants" that loom in every family's living room‹unspoken pain so huge one can only step around it, for to acknowledge it is too terrifying a prospect. And, like all good photographs, this one is not without many shades of gray. There are no easy heroes in this story, although heroism abounds. While the novel speeds along with the pace of a thriller, its drama reaches far beyond the story of Ben's disappearance. The mystery of what happened to Ben is only one of the mysteries that envelop this novel. In revealing what happens to the Cappadora family, Mitchard offers us no easy answers. Instead she raises difficult questions about the nature of grief and loss, about the value of families of all kinds, and about the gifts of love, redemption, and forgiveness.

It would be easy for a writer to grant a happy ending to the Cappadora family, who have been through so much and none of it their fault. And yet instead we are left with something much more real, the side of a tragedy you won't catch on the six o'clock news. The Deep End of the Ocean will make you catch your breath. It will make you thankful. It will make you think. It will make you feel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacquelyn Mitchard's venture into fiction with her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, marks the latest evolution in her diverse and distinguished career as a writer. A native of Chicago, Mitchard graduated from the University of Illinois and Rockford College and became a newspaper reporter. From 1984 to 1988 she was metro reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Her weekly column, "The Rest of Us," has appeared in the Journal for over a decade and will be nationally syndicated starting in September 1996.

From 1989 to 1993, Mitchard was the speechwriter for now U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, while Shalala was Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin. Mitchard has also been a contributing editor for Parenting magazine since 1990; she is a regular columnist for TV Guide and has been a regular contributor to such national magazines as Money, Self, and Woman's Day. She is the author of two nonfiction books, Mother Less Child: The Love Story of a Family and a biography of Jane Addams for teenagers. She has also written two screenplays with her writing partner, Amy Paulsen: A Serpent's Egg for cable television and Typhoid Mary for feature development. Her essay on adoption was anthologized in the Adoption Reader.

The mother of five children, Mitchard lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is at work on a second novel entitled The Most Wanted.


THE TRUTH DEPENDS ON WHO'S TELLING IT
An Interview With Jacquelyn Mitchard


Q: How did you come to write The Deep End of the Ocean?

A: I dreamed the story about three years ago. For a year after that I didn't do anything with it beyond the notes I made about the dream. I'd never written a novel before, but the dream was clear and astonishing. And I'm not much of a dreamer in the ordinary sense.


Q: After your long career writing nonfiction, did you find the transition to writing fiction difficult?

A: It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do professionally, to make that transition. It's the difference between accompanying yourself on the guitar and conducting an orchestra. It was tremendously taxing for me. The only training I had for writing fiction was reading fiction.


Q: You've written journalistic pieces on adoption and the nature of identity, which continue to be topics in the news. Did your research, and the custody cases in the media, influence your writing of the novel?

A: Of course. And I'm sure that more than that, it influenced my subconscious to the degree that I had that particular dream. The questions about nature and nurture are vexing to all parents, whether they've given birth or adopted children.


Q: Did you draw on your own experiences while writing this book?

A: I drew on my experiences growing up in an Italian and Irish neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. And the people, the loves, the jealousies, and the friendships of my youth drift in and out of the book.


Q: Throughout the novel you alternate narrators from Beth to Vincent. What was your reason for doing so?

A: I'm also doing that in the novel I'm working on now. Some books just happen that way; they are like blind men describing an elephant. The truth depends on who's telling it, and that was certainly true in this story. Beth and Vincent, combatants in the novel, are poles apart in their ways of seeing the same basic facts.


Q: Which character in the novel do you most identify with?

A: Vincent. If there's anybody who I might say is like I am, it would be him; I remember that caged, stubborn anger of adolescence.


Q: As a mother, was it difficult for you to write about the kidnapping of a child?

A: It was truly painful. The most painful part was also the most necessary, and that was talking with and listening to people who had had a child kidnapped.


Q: Have the reactions to the book been strong?

A: Absolutely. Especially from people who have not yet read the book. People believed at first that this book was a crime thriller and that the unraveling of the kidnapping case was what this book was about, instead of being about family bonds and what constitutes them. Much of that sort of reaction, that wincing, that shuddering at the book, is much more pronounced from people who have not read it.


Q: Was there a piece of advice that was inspirational to you in pursuing The Deep End of the Ocean?

A: Jane Hamilton said to me, "This story belongs to you, so don't be afraid of it. Just go ahead and tell it."


Q: What advice would you give to aspiring novelists?

A: Two pieces of advice, and they're in order of importance. One, read a lot more than you think you have time for. And two, never let anyone talk you out of your dreams.


PRAISE

"The Deep End of the Ocean burns itself into the memory line by line. It is by turns lyrical and startling, brilliant." --Kaye Gibbons

"A beautifully timed, wrenchingly told story of a family's worst nightmare... has the pace of a thriller with the emotional wallop of August and Endless Love." --The Boston Sunday Globe

"So well observed and perceptive it's hard to shy away from... masterfully paced... A story... of one family's slow tumble back into light." --Los Angeles Times

"Mitchard delivers a drama that has the tension of a thriller but moves more deeply into the emotional territory of family ties." --People

"A first-rate new storyteller." --Newsweek

"[A] rich, moving and altogether stunning first novel... Readers...will find this compelling and heartbreaking story -- sure to be compared with The Good Mother -- impossible to put down." --Publishers Weekly, starred boxed review

"Riveting.... Mitchard keeps her compassionate eye focused... [as she] examines love and loss, and what it means to be a family." --Glamour


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Beth and Pat deal with their grief over Ben in quite different ways: while Pat goes through the "normal stages," Beth is by turn stoic and hysterical; at times she feels as if her slightest move would cause an avalanche. What is this avalanche about? Do you think it is characteristic of men and women to deal with grief -- or the loss of a child -- differently?

2. Beth Cappadora in no way resembles an ideal mother, yet no one could question her love for her children. How does Beth express this love? Do you think she was a "sloppy" mother before Ben's disappearance? And after?

3. Beth points out that the divorce rate of grieving parents is eighty percent. Why is it so hard to sustain a marriage after losing a child? And why do you think Beth and Pat are able to stay together throughout their ordeal? Do you think their marriage will ultimately succeed?

4. Mitchard reveals Vincent to us in stages, allowing us to see him develop from a typical older brother to a troubled teenager. How effectively does she convey Vincent's complex feelings about the loss of Ben and about his parents? How does Ben's disappearance -- and Vincent's own role in the incident -- shape his personality as he grows older?

5. Both Vincent and Ben are known to the outside world by different names. What is the significance of these "aliases"? Why does Mitchard herself refer to Vincent as Reese in his named chapters? In your own mind, which names are the most appropriate for each boy?

6. In many instances Beth reacts angrily when her family expresses hope for Ben's return. Do you think it would have been easier on the family if they were to discover -- or have a real reason to believe -- that Ben had died? Why is the possibility of his being alive so painful to Beth? Do you fault her for being willing to believe that her son is dead?

7. Although it is difficult to imagine how any good could come out of the Cappadoras' tragedy and its aftermath, can you make an argument for what is often referred to as the "healing power of grief"? Has anyone in the family benefited from the experience of losing Ben? What kind of family would they have become had their lives not been torn apart?

8. Watching Sam (Ben) interact with her family, Beth thinks to herself that he is "not of this world." She realizes that George and Cecilia were loving, caring parents; perhaps in some ways better parents than she and Pat would have been. Do you think that Sam -- and the Cappadora family -- would have been better off if they had remained strangers? What parts of his personality as their birth child were preserved over the course of his years with George? How is he the Cappadoras' child, and how is he George's child?

9. The title, The Deep End of the Ocean, refers to Ben's first, timid reaction to a large body of water. Later in the novel, Beth reflects that Ben has indeed been to the ocean's deep end, and returned. What does the title mean to you? How have other members of the Cappadora family been to The Deep End of the Ocean?

10. Recurring throughout the novel is the image of a cedar chest -- as a coffin, as a storage for keepsakes, as a hiding place for Ben. What does the image of the chest evoke for you? Is it fearful or comforting? Claustrophobic or cozy? Why would a child be drawn to such an object?

11. Reunions play an important role throughout the story. What different kinds of reunions take place? Are these events generally pleasant or painful experiences for the characters involved?

12. After Ben's disappearance, Beth ceases to communicate with just about everybody, except Candy. Why do you think Beth turns to Candy instead of all the other people who love her and have tried to help her?
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    The Deep end of the ocean book review

    Christina Saavedra March 7, 2007 Book Review The Deep End Of The Ocean Book Review This book is about this woman named Beth Cappadora who has three children and there was this younger child who is her favorite of them all named Ben. One day they went to a store and when Beth told Vincent who is Ben¿s older brother to take care of him while she went into a store and then later on when she came out, she asked Vincent where was Ben. Vincent told his mother that Ben didn¿t want him to hold him and so he took him with his aunt Ellen, who is Beth¿s sister. Then when Beth went to her sister Ellen and saw that Ben wasn¿t with her, she asked her if she has Ben and she said that Ben had taken off on his own and that they have to find him before they can do anything like asking other people if they have seen him and so they searched every place that they could think of and there was still no sign of him. Then later on they just gave up finding him and Ellen asked Jimmy what if Ben went outside on his own and he told her that there were these guys that will be looking outside if they see him and he also told her that there weren¿t any accidents reported which meant that Ben wasn¿t in an accident. As days, months, and years have passed Beth still couldn¿t find Ben until one day she met up with this young teenage boy and she was stunned that his face was somehow familiar but didn¿t realize it until she thought of Ben and she went home to tell Candy that she thinks that she has found Ben and she told her that she saw him when he came up to the door of her house. Beth also told Candy that she thinks that whoever took him to live with them are now living in the same neighborhood as she is and Candy said that in order to see if it was really Ben, it was to be by the birthmark that he has and Beth told her that she didn¿t look to see the birthmark. This is one of the best books that I have read so far and I would recommend it to anyone that may be interested in reading this book because its about this 3 year old boy that was probably kidnapped and got separated from his family until years later when Beth had seen him at her door. I have seen the movie before and I was really interested of the things that have happened during the movie and so when I started to read this book, I thought that is also interesting to read it after watching the movie. In my opinion I think that people have got to read this book because its about the mystery of the disappearance of 3 year old Ben.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I Just Kept Turning Pages

    "The Deep End of the Ocean" is a moving account of a family coming to grips with the nightmare of losing a child. The writing is strong and the plot, although somewhat predictable, keeps moving so that the pages keep turning. The book is thought-provoking and quite emotional. The book contains some sexual content and profanity. I enjoyed the book although it was a difficult subject. It is not a light read, but certainly worthwhile and I would recommend it to others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    Whiny Mother

    I detested the mother from the beginning, feeling not pit buy disgust, which is why this book is so difficult to put down. It was a very emotional read, and I found myself wanting to stop and not complete the book due to all the bad choices the mother made. She was truly undeserving of her family. She chose her illness and self-pity over them, and it is amazing her son returned to her.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2002

    Your time is too valuable for this one

    I cannot even bring myself to take it to the used book store. I don't want to put anyone else through the misery. I kept waiting for it to get better, it didn't. The ending was a complete disappointment. I like the comment about using it for firewood.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2014

    Seriously...I thought this book was weak. I read reviews and bou

    Seriously...I thought this book was weak. I read reviews and bought it based on those reviews. I am so sorry I spent my vacation reading it. It was not a thriller. It was not even interesting. It was mostly about a woman that was pathological and I am wondering about the author herself. Don't waste your time reading it. I wish I could find trustworthy and good reviews for books but this is the last straw. You cannot trust any of the reviews anymore...the critiques must be paid off....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    B O R I N G

    Too wordy and detailed, dragged on and on. The story picked up just as I was starting to think about giving up on this book, only to fall flat again. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Truth or Fiction

    I've always been confused by whether or not this book is a true story because Lifetime did a movie on a true story that is so very close to this that I honestly thought it was based on this book. Maybe I'm still confused. Regardless, the book still evokes deep emotions and definitely realizes some of our deepest fears. And if it's so good I can't tell the difference between real and fiction - that's some fine writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    The Deep End of the Ocean

    The Deep End of the Ocean was a wonderful book filled with both grief and happiness. It gave a glimpse into the life of a family torn apart by the tremendous loss of their youngest son. How they came to terms with grieve and how later they were given their son back. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone I met because the characters were so believable that I as soon as I picked it up I couldn't put it down again until I was done. If you¿re looking for an emotional story this is a good one for you. I couldn't put this book down. Every break I had I was picking up this book. It is very deep about family problems and complications everyday families face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    wow

    The Deep End Of The Ocean was a very good book. It was definatly a tear jerker but as i continued to read the chapters i didnt want to put the book down because i was so anxious to find out what would happen next. The author did a very good job at writing in different ways because it was very easy to follow along. This book is about a child who goes missing in a crowd of people in an instant and i couldn't even imagine that happening to me. I do not have kids but someday wish to and this book was definatly an eye opener. I think this book was very well written and i think people should consider reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    This is a wonderful book! I picked it because I like topics that have to do with kidnapping. Also because it is something that happens in real life and not made up. I enjoyed the book a lot. It really caught my eye and got my attention to be focused in the book. At times, it was a little confusing but after i read on i understood what was happening. The impact this book as had on me was great. It makes me have more sympathy than before on those parents who have their children taken from them. I definitely recommend this book to future readers!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    Deep End of the Ocean

    It was so great, I couldn't put it down. It was a bit suspensful and at the same time heartbreaking. You can't help but feel sympathy for Beth, the mother of the lost child. A fantastic book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2006

    Really Amazing!!

    Wow! Out of all the books I have read this one was by far my favorite! A page turner for sure! I was so excited to read what would happen next, that I started reading faster than I could take it all in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2004

    Very Nice

    I picked this up at my local library as an unabridged book on tape to listen to on a long trip I took a few months ago. This was an excellent story that definitely made the trip go alot faster. I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates an emotional read with living breathing characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    It takes your breath away.

    This book is like a real life story. It could happen to anyone. This book is in Oprah¿s book club. Beth, who is the mom in the story, loses her son Ben. In losing her son almost messed up her whole life. She blamed herself for the kidnapp of her son. Beth never gave up hope. But when you read the stunning turn in the story it well give you a shock.This book is not like other books. This has a better meaning through out the story.<p> The book is a life lesson. That is one reason why I liked this book. This book shows you when a family is in a hole and they don¿t seem like they can get out. You figure out that you have to work as a family to get out of the hole. It shows you that not all families are perfect, actually no family is perfect. It helps you learn a big lesson. This is when Vincent (Beth¿s other child) starts to take care of his little sister Kerry.<p> Beth felt like it was the end of her life when she lost her favorite child Ben. Beth even felt like she could not laugh or have any fun, because she did not know how Ben was if he ate or if he was o.k. One of the good points in the book was you have to live, even though you don¿t know how your child is you can¿t let it get to. You can't blame yourself because it teaches you if your just going to be a in a pity no one will want to be around you eventually you will be by yourself or alone. So this teaches you to just try to take one day at a time and to let people into your life to help you get through hard times because most likely you can't get through it by yourself. This book was amazing because I feel it had lessons in life you can learn from.<p>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2003

    awesome book!

    i thought that the deep end of the ocean was such a great book, that evoked so many emotions. definitely reccomend it to everyone, especially parents. the story of the cappadoras is memorable and touching. a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2002

    TOO DEEP FOR SOME IT SEEMS

    This book goes deep into the soul of a troubled woman reeling from the loss of her child. We all think we know what it would be like and we would all be wrong. This is a gritty story filled with tears and laughter and explores difficult choices. I see from some of the other reviews that some of these people need action and car wrecks to stay interested. You won't find that here instead you will find an emotional rollercoaster with an amazing ending. Excellent book !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2002

    Simply a great story

    I first saw the movie and then thought I'd get the book to get more insight into the storyline. I liked the development of Vincent especially because it shows how he is neglected by his mother and how he blames himself for the disappearance of little Ben and then later reacts with rejection towards him and his family. He has been neglected by his mother who hasn't realized how much Vincent needed her and still does. It's also interesting how differently Beth and her husband deal with the loss of Ben. Ben (Sam) deals relatively relaxed with his own story, which would probably not be that way in real life. Also it's very improbable that the lost son would reappear ten years later just two blocks away--but even still it's a great story and the Hollywood effect isn't really important because what the story really is about is the family and how it deals with the situation. One last thing: Jonathan Jackson is great in portraying Vincent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    the deep end of this book

    i gave this book 5 stars because the author made me feel as if i were beth loosing ben this book was both brilliant and riviting in some parts parents with three year olds might have to put it down it makes you think not to look away even for a split second.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2002

    Be Careful It's A Tear Jerker

    I couldn't put this book down. Every break I had I was picking up this book. It is very deep about family problems and complications everyday families face.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2001

    A Roller Coaster of a Novel

    The Deep End of the Ocean was a wonderful book filled with both grief and happiness. It gave you a glimpse into the life of a family torn apart by the tremendous loss of their youngest son. How they came to terms with their grieve and how later they were given their son back. I would definately recommend this book to anyone I met because the characters were so believeable that I as soon as I picked it up I couldn't put it down again until I was done. If your looking for a good cry, this is the book for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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