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.
Do Not Become Alarmed was like a thrilling roller coaster ride! It starts with the families enjoying a relaxing vacation on a cruise ship…but things take a turn for the worse quick. I devoured this fast-paced, and exciting novel in 2 days but could have done it in one sitting. Yeah, it’s that good. Meloy is a talented writer and I want more! Fortunately, she has a few previous books so do not become alarmed. One thing I appreciated was Meloy accurately incorporates Spanish phrases and other isms from different Latin American countries (you go girl!). Curiously, it is never revealed which Central American country they visit while ashore (Costa Rica?). The chapters are alternated so you get the perspectives of both the adults and children. You also know what’s happening to the kids at all times, so no need to guess. Do Not Become Alarmed makes for a great, easy summer read — add it to your list today!