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Friday, July 14, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy @mailemeloy @PRHAudio

TITLE: Do Not Become Alarmed
AUTHOR: Maile Meloy
NARRATOR: Maile Meloy
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: June 6, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 58 mins
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
The sun is shining, the sea is blue, the children have disappeared.

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship's comfort and ease. The four children--ages six to eleven--love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

The disintegration of the world the families knew--told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children--is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed.

Do Not Become Alarmed is a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and an insightful look at privileged illusions of safety. Celebrated for her spare and moving fiction, Maile Meloy has written a gripping novel about how quickly what we count on can fall away, and the way a crisis shifts our perceptions of what matters most.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

Liv invites her cousin, Nora, and her family to join theirs on a two-week cruise from California down the coast to Panama and back. Liv and her husband, Benjamin, have two kids: Sebastian (age 8) and Penny (age 11). Nora and her husband, Raymond, also have two kids: June (age 6) and Markus (age 11). The families go with another couple from Argentina, also with two kids, to an on-shore excursion in Central America. The author refers to the country being the Switzerland of Central America, so I presume it is Costa Rica. The men decide to go golfing, while the ladies and children go with a local guide on a ziplining tour. The guide’s vehicle breaks down, and they decide to walk to the beach while they wait for help. The guide offers drinks to the ladies, and he takes Nora into the jungle to “look for birds” leaving the other two ladies in charge of all the children. Yup, you guessed it! Disaster strikes. While Nora is getting her rocks off in the jungle with the guide, the other ladies fall asleep in the hot sun and the children disappear. Everyone blames everyone else. Liv is angry with Nora for going off with the tour guide, and Nora is angry with Liv for falling asleep when she should have been watching the children! Liv says that she thought the Argentinian lady was keeping an eye on them, and Liv feels that the children wouldn’t have disappeared if Benjamin had been there. The men can hardly believe that the children have gone missing on mom’s watch, and there are bad feelings all around. It’s bad enough that the children have gone missing, but it becomes especially dire because Sebastian relies on an insulin pump which he wasn’t wearing before he went missing.

I liked the story, but I had a hard time connecting with the moms in this story! As a mom myself, I cannot fathom how a mom could fall asleep on a beach in a foreign country while no one is minding the children! Or, in Nora’s case, off in the jungle cheating on her husband while the children are swimming in crocodile-infested waters! I’m surprised that there weren’t more serious consequences, to the children and to the marriages. I think the parts of the story that I enjoyed the most were the sections narrated by the children so that we could see what was going on with them.

The book is narrated by the author, and I hate to say this but I wasn’t a fan of the narration. It was just okay for me. I found some of the vocalizations to be irritating, and her narration overall was a bit monotone. Here’s a sample of the narration:




MY RATING:
3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it. Thanks again to Penguin Random House Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

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