Saturday, 4 February 2012

Book Review - The Deep End of the Ocean

I picked this up in a book swap last week, and actually read some quite bad reviews but I really enjoyed it! I guess that's one plus about book swaps, you end up choosing books you never usually would.

It is a story about a family who lose a child. The Mother, Beth takes the children away to her School reunion, and asks her older son Vincent who is 7, to watch her younger son Ben who is 3 whilst she takes care of a hotel booking - she is just across the lobby. When she returns, Ben is gone and is nowhere to be found. They then find some evidence to point towards a kidnapping.

The book then follows the family, including extended family as they try to figure out what happened and then, 10 years later Ben re-appears. However, this isn't without it's problems (not a spoiler, it tells you on the back)

I have read reviews where people say the story is too much coincidence, well I guess yes it is however the same reviewers have said that they checked the back first to see if the child was alive - so, what would they prefer?

Also a lot of reviews where the Mother is selfish, but in my opinion I think the author has dealt with this difficult story line really well, no one knows how they would react in this terrible situation, and Beth just completely shuts down, doesn't feel like a mother any more, more of a failure I guess.

It is hard on the whole family, Mother father & Ben's brother Vincent - who goes of the rails slightly, feeling neglected and also like it's his fault what happened. He finds comfort in a psychiatrist and part of the book is told from Vincent's point of view, which I think was really good as you really empathize with him and understand how he feels.

The story has a twist, which I won't spoil but I liked it..again, the author dealt with the family emotions really well. 

The story was quite upsetting in places, and I found myself getting a little bit teary. I imagine people with children could relate more to this than me. I kept thinking of the Madeline McCann story throughout, which made it seem a bit more real having read about that a lot. 

All I can fault with this book was in places I felt it was a bit too descriptive, and also a bit jumpy. The prologue was a bit too long, and I can imagine people being bored through that section and give up!

Overall, I would recommend this.

Gemma xxx

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