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?
Heartbreaking. That’s my whole review summed up in one word. I cried so much while reading this book, especially near the end. It just kept hitting you at every turn.
Vincent’s chapters were the worse and the best. Worse because I could barely read through the tears at some points. Best because they were the ones that stood out and demanded to be heard. Even though Vincent himself was all about being quiet and disappearing, his story was a huge part of the book.
I found it interesting how each of the characters reacted differently to the same event. A minor difference in viewpoint can make a big difference in your reaction to something. It was one thing that really stood out, separate from the actual storyline.
Apparently this book was the first one chosen for Oprah Winfrey’s book club. I never watched Oprah, but I can only imagine the tears and discussions that surrounded the book. As a mother, I found this to be a horrorific story, and couldn’t imagine having to live through a situation like this. I’m sure it didn’t help that I read this during a time when I was separated from my son by thousands of miles. I wouldn’t suggest reading it unless you are able to give your children a kiss and hug after you are done.
Challenges read for:
2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge – book 7