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

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

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Touching story of a woman whose life is changed when her toddler is kidnapped and found years later. Emotional & a great read.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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3 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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3 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sad book but very absorbing. great story.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.
One family,s saga about loss, family ties, with a stunning conclusion makes this book outstanding.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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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
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Great book, get a kleenex!
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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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 — a woman whose success as an actress has been a mask for madness and depression — 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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Very moving book about the mother of three children...then one of them...three year old Ben is missing
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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I loved this emotionally charged book.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Great read. I'm not sure, but I think there was a movie based on this book.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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Very good book. Her child is with her one minute and not the next. Years go by until...
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Kind of depressing, but very well written.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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A searing, stark look at a family tragedy, this book feels like non-fiction. The main characters are well-drawn.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Such a moving story! A real page turner.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Engrossing story about a kidnapped boy and the family's search and reactions.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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vwey good book I also seen the movie
  • Currently 0/5 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 dedicated woman police officer obsessed with the case gave up hope."
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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"Masterful...a big story about human connection and emotional survival."
-Los Angeles Times

"Rich, moving, suspenseful, altogether stunning...impossible to put down."
-Publishers Weekly
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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great book!
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
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Very popular book but not one of my personal favorites.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Very good book -- if you've seen the movie and liked it, then you will like the book even better!
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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A drama with the tension of a thriller that moves deeply into the emotional territory of family ties
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Great book, much more detail than the movie.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Shows how a mother can become driven to find her child and all she goes through during this search. Very compelling.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Better than the movie... page turner... heart touching
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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Decent book, a little long but I would suggest it to someone with the time to read it.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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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 obsesses with the case gave up hope. This will keep you reading all night long!
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Better than the movie. Good story for all parents.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
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Pretty good book. Great story line.
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
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Very emotional
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Excellent. Loved it!
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Just as good as the movie. A young kidnapped boy who is found years later.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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Good read...can follow along with the family pain as they deal with the tragedy.