Do Not Become Alarmed

Do Not Become Alarmed

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation--and the children go missing. When Liv and Nora decide to take their families on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. The children--two eleven-year-olds, an eight-year-old, and a six-year-old--love the nonstop buffet and the independence they have at the Kids' Club. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor misfortunes leads the families farther and farther from the ship's safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone. What follows is a riveting, revealing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the once-happy parents--now turning on one another and blaming themselves--try to recover their children and their lives. Celebrated for her ability to write vivid, spare, moving fiction, Maile Meloy shows how quickly the life we count on can fall away, and how a crisis changes everyone's priorities. The fast-paced, gripping plot of Do Not Become Alarmed carries with it an insightful, provocative examination of privilege, race, guilt, envy, the dilemmas of modern parenthood, and the challenge of living up to our own expectations"-- Provided by publisher
"From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation--and the children go missing"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017
ISBN: 9780735216525
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air, 6/15/2017. She calls the novel "a very smart work of literary fiction."

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

sugarmountain Aug 20, 2017

Didn't like any of the affluent adult characters in this story. The whole plot sounds exciting, but there were too many events that seemed unlikely plus the children acted too mature for their supposed ages. Unsatisfying overall.

Aug 16, 2017

I'm pretty sure they were in Costa Rica. A gripping, better-than-average thriller. I read this book into the early hours of the morning to finish it. I needed to know what happened. The author tied up all the loose ends, it's not a happily-ever-after ending, either. One of my favorite books of the summer, not for its eloquent language, but for its thick plot and the fact that it kept me hooked until the end.

Aug 10, 2017

I picked this book up and started reading one Saturday morning, and then didn't put it down until the book was done, several hours later. Nothing about this book is ground-breaking or *new*; however it is suspenseful and compelling. I can see this book being adapted into a movie, for sure. The story is told from alternating perspectives of several different characters, which is always a fun plot device that moves the story forward.

Aug 09, 2017

Very exciting and fast paced. I really enjoyed this and whipped through it in a couple of days. I agree-its a great summer read!

SquamishLibraryStaff Aug 01, 2017

There's no need to become alarmed. You're on a cruise ship somewhere in Central America.
You go ashore for an excursion that goes horribly wrong and now you've lost your kids.
Where did they go?
The clock is ticking...will the kids be found unharmed and well?
Go on this fast paced, gut wrenching adventure with three sets of parents as they try to find their kids in a somewhat corrupt country. Put this one on your summer reading list.

Jul 27, 2017

Quick read. Great way to spend a weekend by the pool. Suspense and decent character development. I enjoyed it.

martins_mom Jul 26, 2017

I was not on the edge of my seat with this the way I was while reading Paula Daly's Just What Kind of Mother are You?, but the two books are similar in taking fairly benign situations and turning things upside down. In this case we venture into the exotic with a Pacific coast cruise to the Panama Canal by three well-to-do families, and a shore excursion that goes terribly wrong. The personalities of the characters are well fleshed out, especially those of the six children in the story. A great summer read.

Jul 24, 2017

This is one of those books you can't put down. Don't pick it up unless you're prepared for an all-nighter! If you are a parent, especially a wife and mother, your heart will be in your throat until the very end. Highly recommended.

Jun 28, 2017

I was drawn to the plot (typical cruise vacation, banal, but read with fun luster; real people with their own issues, ordinary, but felt with astonishing drama.) right away.
I was anxious for the missing parts (where is Hector? when will Noemi convene with the kids? what is Pedro? can George save the kids as he promises? will Oscar succeed?), trivial or not, omitted(intentionally?) or twisted(brilliantly!) by the author, I'm satisfied.

Certainly, there are unforgettable characters, adult and children. But I'm not sure how to feel about the utter US/Americentrism. I almost want to believe the book revealed Bosch-like darkness and agony in ceremonies, but it stopped me to merely appreciate an impressionist painting in pastel colors.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top