After haphazardly reading Oprah's book club selections for years, I've decided to systematically read them all, beginning with her first choice: Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. It's the story of Beth and family, including her son, Ben, who disappears at Beth's high school reunion.
It's heartbreaking, and I must admit, I was completely captivated for the first two-thirds of the book. Perhaps it's because the story truly is heartbreaking, and I pulled away from the sadness, or perhaps the story really did run out of steam, but I was heading dangerously close to lukewarm by the end. It's a big book, and a lot happens, but it also seems the story is not fully appreciated it. Granted, Jacquelyn Mitchard is a gifted writer, and I'm sure she made a conscious choice to tell the story from only two points of view, but there is a vibrant cast of supporting characters I'm still curious about.
It's definitely worth a read, and I'm eager to read more of Mitchard's books. If you would have asked me the night I sat in one spot by the fire and read three hundred pages, I would have professed a deeply gratifying love for this novel, but today, I'm more reserved with my praise.
rating: 3 stars (loved it)