Author(s): Maile Meloy
The moving and suspenseful new novel that Ann Patchett calls "smart and thrilling and impossible to put down... the book that every reader longs for."
"This summer's undoubtable smash hit... an addictive, heart-palpitating story." --Marie Claire
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.
Here is that perfect combination of a luminous writer and a big, page-turning story. This hugely suspenseful novel will speak to anyone who has ever felt responsible for keeping a loved one safe, whether it was a child, a partner, a parent, or a friend. Meloy's characters-the adults and the children-feel like real, living people I'll never forget -- Helen Fielding This is the book that every reader longs for: smart and thrilling and impossible to put down. Read it once at breakneck speed to find out what happens next, and then read it slowly to marvel at the perfect prose and the masterwork of a plot. It is an alarmingly good novel. -- Ann Patchett [Meloy is] a wise and astonishing conjurer of convincing realities New Yorker Meloy's style is as fresh and brisk as an ocean breeze Sunday Times Her characters are drawn sparingly, but they leap off the page New York Times Wise, witty, and beautifully written ... a literary novel you don't want to put down -- Helen Fielding on 'Liars and Saints' She's such a talented and unpredictable writer that I'm officially joining her fan club; whatever she writes next, I'll gladly read it -- Curtis Sittenfeld Meloy writes wonderfully well Guardian Somehow she pulls off what never quite seemed possible before: combining the meticulous realism of domestic fiction with the witchery of a natural-born storyteller New York Times Always true to her wide-ranging though consistently introspective characters, Meloy convincingly depicts the inchoate emotion that drives people, while also distilling meaning from it Atlantic Meloy has such a sure handle in what to leave out. Her style is impressively unshowy: it's not even showily unshowy, not seeing the need to draw attention to its pared-down restraint London Review of Books Maile Meloy writes with both fearlessness and true compassion -- Ann Patchett on 'Liars and Saints' The quiet, unastonished precision with which Maile Meloy depicts the extent to which everything now goes haywire in so-called ordinary American life is an impressive achievement, literary and otherwise -- Philip Roth on 'Liars and Saints' Ominous, addictive...In crafting this high-stakes page-turner, Meloy excels as a master of suspense Publisher's Weekly Do not start this book after dinner or you will almost certainly be up all night Kirkus Reviews
Maile Meloy is the author of the novels Liars and Saints (which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and chosen for the Richard and Judy book club) and A Family Daughter, the short-story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, and the award-winning Apothecary trilogy for young readers. She has received the PEN/Malamud Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was chosen as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. She lives in Los Angeles.