Book Reviews of The Deep End of the Ocean

The Deep End of the Ocean
The Deep End of the Ocean
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
ISBN-13: 9780451186928
ISBN-10: 0451186923
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 266

3.6 stars, based on 266 ratings
Publisher: New American Library
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

115 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
A mother loses her 3 year old son in a hotel lobby and their ordinary life is changed forever. As a parent, it really makes you think about things...
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The deep end of the ocean is where I wanted to throw this book when I finished it. It's unbelievably melodramatic...Ms. Mitchard missed several key points. First, the mother is unsympathetic because she just wallows in her grief instead of trying to help her other children deal with the loss of a sibling. It's like the writer assumed that since she lost a child, the mother must be sympathetic. Instead, she's merely pathetic. Then there was Kerry's age. Also, I found the racial slurs offensive. Not to mention the number of typos.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Touching story of a woman whose life is changed when her toddler is kidnapped and found years later. Emotional & a great read.
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Helpful Score: 3
A mother's worst nightmare comes true when her son is abducted in a crowded lobby. Many years later, her marriage is unraveling and she is obsessed with finding out if her son is still alive. If he is, could he come back to his family without ruining his life and theirs?
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
Helpful Score: 3
Very Good book, lots of twists and turns that draw you in and tug at your emotions as you read. You feel for each character as you see different perspectives on the disappearance of young Ben Cappadora.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was emotionally involved... actually it was pretty stressful! That's how you know it was good!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Engrossing and hard to put down. Very real and raw feelings are explored in this book. I truly enjoyed it and want to read more by this author.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Oprah's first Book Club selection. The book was a good read when I was in college, but now, as a mother, the plot (which revolves around a missing child) gives me bad dreams. The writing is excellent, however.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Tough read for a mother - but a great book.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very engrossing. Involves a child-napping and its effects on the victim-family, especially the mother, whose depression is truly a mental illness. The family's adjustment years later when the child is ultimately found is no easier than its original adjustment to his loss.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book! Could not put it down! I read it in 2 days. It is a heartbreaking story about a family's loss and how each member copes. I was near tears more than once!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I know there is a movie based on this book, but I have not seen it, and cannot compare the 2. However, take time to read this book. The storyline is firm and pulls you in. Once the characters sink their teeth into you, there is no turning back.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was motivated to read this after catching the movie on Oxygen one evening. It's good, very emotional; a wrenching window into two parents who, after their younger son is kidnapped, turn inwards and let their two other children and their family unit wither from neglect. The pain each of the adults and the older son feels is convincingly written and makes you wonder how you would do in the same circumstances. Facts in the movie are changed a bit, as happens often for Hollywood, but basically faithful to the novel. I prefer the book to the film.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was pretty good. I usually read a book this size in two to three days, but this one took me about a week and a half because it wasn't something that I just couldn't put down. It was a little drawn out at times. Leaves you somewhat wanting more. All in all it was a good book but not in my top ten favorites.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
Helpful Score: 2
Sad book but very absorbing. great story.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
excellent read, but sad.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 103 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was not a favorite of mine. I found it hard to feel sympathetic toward the mother because she seemed selfish to me.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 422 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Masterful...a big story about Human Connestions and emotional survival.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
Helpful Score: 1
One family,s saga about loss, family ties, with a stunning conclusion makes this book outstanding.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have never lost a child, but I was fully drawn into this slow-motion nightmare of Beth Cappadora. I could not put it down.
Oprah's Book Club book
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was well written and touched my heart as no book ever has before. I cried all the way through it and for that reason alone I doubt I will ever again read it, it's now imprinted on my soul, I recommend it to though with a strong constitution for tear jerking dramas.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 351 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Story focuses on a woman whose child is kidnapped. She goes through a lot and loses even more in the meantime. The older brother also goes through a lot - he's as much a victim as the kidnapped child is. Ending is very good and realistic.
As a mother, I thought she didn't express her feelings the same as I would have, but everybody has their own way of dealing with this type of thing...
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sometimes the author would drift in her writing and I would wonder if I skipped a page, then I would understand it was the mind of the speaker who was rattled and going in different directions. Hard book to read but I did enjoy parts of it.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As a mother, I found the content of this book disturbing yet I was compelled to read it. Even when I put the book down, the characters and story lingered. Made me think about how I would react if I'd 'lost' my child. Thought provoking.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great book, when I seen the movie it made me cry, but the books are always so much better. This is a must read.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What if your son was kidnapped, leaving no trace? This novel tells the story of one such family and what happens to them over the course of the investigation, the years after, and the eventual discovery of what became of their son. Very enjoyable, although it is heavy reading - this is no summer beach read!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 7 more book reviews
Good read...can follow along with the family pain as they deal with the tragedy.
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Son is stolen, family goes thru hell. An interesting psychological study. Readable or I wouldn't have finished it!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 8 more book reviews
Very touching.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 10 more book reviews
Beautifully written.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 9 more book reviews
As usual, the book is immensely better than the movie. This is a must read.
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I was absolutely addicted to this book...could not put it down. I loved how the relationships were portrayed separately! I really shows how each character reacts to tragedy individually!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 3 more book reviews
This is a fantastic story of deep motherly devotion. I loved this book.
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Super good book. Suspenseful.
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Oh, but this book is emotional. This moving story about life and loss (and living through both of those things) just sucked me right in. I read it just before the movie came out, quite a while ago now, and was literally stunned. The depth of human emotion is amazing.

The book itself is in very good condition; aside from a little dust, it's hardly worn at all.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 47 more book reviews
story of family that a three year old was kidnapped. how they dealt. awesome yet sad.
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Very moving book.
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Wonderful story and truly heartbreaking. One of the best Oprah Book Club choices ever.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 14 more book reviews
Gripping story - very emotional and heavy read.
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A perfect read!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 8 more book reviews
Excellent, hard to put down, gripping and emotional.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 17 more book reviews
Interesting and moving story about a families relationships.
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I had hoped for more considering it was one of Oprahs Book Club books. The ending was a 'feel good' ending and seemed a bit unbelievable to me. The whole of the story was easy to read.
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I could only imagine how this woman felt and how this family dealt with their circumstances. It seemed so real. The author took you there. She did a great job.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 22 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It brought you into the emotions that only a mother who has lost a child can feel. I thought Mitchard did a fine job of taking you there.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 113 more book reviews
The best of Mitchard's work, I read it very quickly, it was hard to put down. As usual, a good pick from Oprah's Book club.
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Good book. Fiction.
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When a child is kidnapped and believed to be gone forever....you become a part of how this family copes and struggles to remain together. How it changes them forever.
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Wonderful!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 14 more book reviews
I really felt that this book was very realistic. Of course, I've never been in the situation that this family has been in, but not everything in life turns out like roses and this book exposes some of that.
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I have yet to be disappointed by an Oprah's Book Club selection - this book was no exception.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 19 more book reviews
Very good book. It will make you hold on to your kids a little tighter.Very great characters.A must read
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 300 more book reviews
Pat and Beth Cappadora experience every parent's nightmare - the abduction of their three year old son, Ben from a hotel lobby. For nine years Beth's mind and emotions are suspended in time. Pat can do nothing to bring his son back. Their older son, Vincent, turns into a deliquent in an attempt to break the band of silence that reigns in the Cappadora home.

Nine years later something so unexpected happens, that it changes everything that once seemed true.

Compelling reading about a family struck by tragedy and torn apart by love.

Good one!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 42 more book reviews
Very deep, dark story of a family in turmoil..couldn't put it down-great read!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 83 more book reviews
Very interesting, poignant! I found it virtually impossible to put down! A young boy is kidnapped and a family struggles with their grief for years which changes the family dynamics... eventually, though, the boy is "found" and reunited with his family...
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 29 more book reviews
It happened in a fllash, One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children, the next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope. Book is in excellent condition.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 11 more book reviews
This is a well written peice of literature. Although the story is sad, it will make you laugh as well. Very touching and emotional.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 6 more book reviews
A drama with the tension of a thriller that moves deeply into the emotional territory of family ties
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 37 more book reviews
Great book, much more detail than the movie.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 367 more book reviews
The horror of losing a child is somehow made worse when the case goes unsolved for nearly a decade, reports Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jacquelyn Mitchard in this searing first novel. In it, 3-year-old Ben Cappadora is kidnapped from a hotel lobby where his mother is checking into her 15th high school reunion. His disappearance tears the family apart and invokes separate experiences of anguish, denial, and self-blame. Marital problems and delinquency in Ben's older brother (in charge of him the day of his kidnapping) ensue. Mitchard depicts the family's friction and torment--along with many gritty realities of family life--with the candor of a journalist and compassion of someone who has seemingly been there. International publishing and movie rights sold fast on this one: It's a blockbuster.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 26 more book reviews
This is a moving story of one family who loses a son and the nightmare they go through, the changes it brings to their lives. It is a story of love, pain, hope.
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Very good book -- if you've seen the movie and liked it, then you will like the book even better!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
A very good book. It's a bit of an emotional ride, given the nature of the storyline, but I enjoyed it. Much better than the movie version.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 23 more book reviews
"Masterful...a big story about human connection and emotional survival."
-Los Angeles Times

"Rich, moving, suspenseful, altogether stunning...impossible to put down."
-Publishers Weekly
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 22 more book reviews
Very popular book but not one of my personal favorites.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 86 more book reviews
Great read. I'm not sure, but I think there was a movie based on this book.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 85 more book reviews
It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope.
So began the slow-motion nightmare for Beth, for her family, for everyone involved in the ultimate testing of the ties that bind people together and the wounds that tear them apart. But suddenly something so unexpected happens, it changes everything. This stunning novel plumbs the depths of one family's pain and hope, evoking love's risks and rewards.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 8 more book reviews
Shows how a mother can become driven to find her child and all she goes through during this search. Very compelling.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 12 more book reviews
This family story involves the mother, father, and three children. The mother takes the children to a high-school class reunion. However, her oldest child/son gets kidnapped.

This story is about the search for Ben, her son, and the aftermath.

I really liked this book and highly recommend it.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 33 more book reviews
Excellent. Loved it!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 38 more book reviews
This was a very good book, cannot imagine the feeling of having your child taken from you for that long. Oprah's very first Book Club selection.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 49 more book reviews
Pretty good book. Great story line.
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great book!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 26 more book reviews
Just as good as the movie. A young kidnapped boy who is found years later.
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Very emotional
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Decent book, a little long but I would suggest it to someone with the time to read it.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 21 more book reviews
Better than the movie... page turner... heart touching
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 3 more book reviews
Better than the movie. Good story for all parents.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 29 more book reviews
It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the dedicated woman police officer obsesses with the case gave up hope. This will keep you reading all night long!
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 4 more book reviews
This book was awesome--I couldn't put it down. I pride myself on being able to foresee plot twists, but I sure didn't foresee the turns in this book. I highly recommend it.
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Engrossing story about a kidnapped boy and the family's search and reactions.
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An emotional read, engrossing and tension-filled. A parent's worst fear come true, losing a child, and the test of the bonds that keep a family together...or allow it to fall apart.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 16 more book reviews
Very good book. Her child is with her one minute and not the next. Years go by until...
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Kind of depressing, but very well written.
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When Beth Cappadora, a suburban mother and photographer, loses sight of her three-year-old son, Ben, at her fifteenth high-school reunion, not only does her life implode, her family's does as well. Her husband, Pat, discovers cracks in the marriage where there were no apparent rifts before. More disturbingly, her older son, Vincent, who was supposed to hold on to his little brother's hand, begins a lifelong descent, intent on proving he is as shameful and unlovable as he believes his parents consider him to be. Then, in what appears to be a miracle, the Cappadora family finds Ben, who has been raised and loved by a former classmate of Beth's â" a woman whose success as an actress has been a mask for madness and depression â" and her husband, who adores Ben as his son. Ben has no memory of his family; he is heartbroken and lost. The Deep End of the Ocean asks the reader, is it true that more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones? The authenticity of grief in the novel was informed by the death of my husband, a man whose big Italian family, like the Cappadoras, was in the restaurant business, and who died the year before I began to write the book. Are we who we are because of our genetics or because of what we remember?...The only difference between any of us and the Cappadoras is that they have been caught and stunned by extraordinary circumstances. They are everyday people who have experienced what was once called "the great lyric passage" in their lives that will change them forever...
http://www.jacquelynmitchard.com/mitchard-deepend.htm

This story was in detail compared to the movie. Some of the characters lives were not the same as what was stated in the movie. The story in the movie was shorter and some of the things didn't happen in the same way as the book.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 3 more book reviews
Beth's youngest son, Ben, was kidnapped at age three. As the years go by the family is slowly falling apart. This book has more twists and turns than a snake. A good book. Well worth reading.
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From the back cover..."It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the dedicated woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope."
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 6 more book reviews
It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the dedicated woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope.

So began the slow-motion nightmare for Beth, for her family, for everyone involved in the ultimate testing of the ties that bind people together and the wounds that tear them apart. But suddenly something so unexpected happens, it changes everything. This stunning novel plumbs the depths of one family's pain and hope, evoking love's risks and rewards.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 31 more book reviews
This is one of those books that, as a parent, has you holding your breath as you're reading it. It has been turned into a movie and I have to admit the movie is fantastic! I think they did a great job adapting it from the book. This is an amazing story from start to finish. I felt so in touch with the mother, that I noticed myself keeping an extra eye on my kids after reading it. The author did a great job of helping the reader to feel what the mom was going through.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 28 more book reviews
Great book, get a kleenex!
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Very moving book about the mother of three children...then one of them...three year old Ben is missing
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A searing, stark look at a family tragedy, this book feels like non-fiction. The main characters are well-drawn.
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Such a moving story! A real page turner.
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It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days weeks, months, years, even the dedicated woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope.
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Amazon.com
...The horror of losing a child is somehow made worse when the case goes unsolved for nearly a decade, reports Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jacquelyn Mitchard in this searing first novel. In it, 3-year-old Ben Cappadora is kidnapped from a hotel lobby where his mother is checking into her 15th high school reunion. His disappearance tears the family apart and invokes separate experiences of anguish, denial, and self-blame. Marital problems and delinquency in Ben's older brother (in charge of him the day of his kidnapping) ensue. Mitchard depicts the family's friction and torment--along with many gritty realities of family life--with the candor of a journalist and compassion of someone who has seemingly been there. International publishing and movie rights sold fast on this one: It's a blockbuster.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 5 more book reviews
Chilling book. A little boy is kidnapped from his mother. Really makes you hold on to your children a little more each night before bedtime.
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A simple mistake every parent has made . . . a turn of the head, a momentary lapse in judgement, yet an action that will unravel the very thread of lives. This makes every parent wonder what they would think, feel or do if this ever happened to them.
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WOW! Another Oprah pick that kept you reading until the very last page!
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Excellent, excellent book! Couldn't put it down! So heart wrenching and real! Highly recommend to all!
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Very engrossing and heart-wrenching book!
2 cassettes, 3 hours, abridged, read by Dana Ivey
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As a mother of three children myself, I strongly identified with Beth at different times during the novel. However, I began not only to dislike her, but just simply not care about her. I wanted the family to find out about Ben for the benefit of the other members of his family. The character I felt the most sympathy for is Vincent. He just broke my heart. I enjoyed this easy, summer read, but some of it was difficult being a mother of 2 boys and a daughter, myself.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 28 more book reviews
This book is about a mother of 3 children that leaves her home in Wisconsin and goes to her class reunion in Chicago. Upon arriving at her hotel her youngest son is kidnapped. The older boy was supposed to be watching him so now the older boy has guilt feelings. Of course the Mother is feeling very guilty as the boy was stolen while in her custody. Year later the boy comes to the family's home to ask for a lawn mowing job. The boy's adopted family and his birth family finally come to know each other and it is heart wrenching for the boy to decide which family he wants to live with. I read it twice and recommended for my book club
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vwey good book I also seen the movie
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Oprah's Book Club
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Really good book!
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Oprah Book Club® Selection, September 1996
(From Amazon.com) The horror of losing a child is somehow made worse when the case goes unsolved for nearly a decade, reports Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jacquelyn Mitchard in this searing first novel. In it, 3-year-old Ben Cappadora is kidnapped from a hotel lobby where his mother is checking into her 15th high school reunion. His disappearance tears the family apart and invokes separate experiences of anguish, denial, and self-blame. Marital problems and delinquency in Ben's older brother (in charge of him the day of his kidnapping) ensue. Mitchard depicts the family's friction and torment--along with many gritty realities of family life--with the candor of a journalist and compassion of someone who has seemingly been there.

I never saw the movie, so I can't say how it compares. But from lots of experience, I'm sure the movie doesn't hold a candle to the book.
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I loved this emotionally charged book.
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A drama with the tension of a thriller that moves deeply into the emotional territory of family ties - People

It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the woman police office obsessed with the case gave up hope.

So began the slow-motion nightmare for Beth, for her family, for everyone involved in the ultimate testing of the ties that bind people together and the wounds that tear them apart. But suddenly something so unexpected happens, it changes everything.
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on + 16 more book reviews
Oprah's book club choice...a very moving novel of a missing child...my front cover shows 3 small children running on the beach.... all the numbers match up...good book
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Definetly a page turner, but kinda to hook-ey to be that emotional about it. But I did just use the hook-ey - so you decide.
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This was a great book. Once I started it, it was hard to put down. The ending was very unexpected and surprising.
It definitely rates five golden stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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From the back cover: "It happened in a flash. One minute Beth Cappadora was the happily married mother of three children. The next minute, one of them, her favorite child, three-year-old Ben, was missing. Was he kidnapped? No one knew, and as minutes lengthened into hours, days, weeks, months, years, even the woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope."
reviewed The Deep End of the Ocean on
This is actually a paperback
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This book has a soft cover even though it is listed as hardcover.
Deeply engrossing and touches your hear.
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What happens to a family when a child is lost.

No dust jacket