Maile Meloy with DO NOT BECOME ALARMED (in conversation with Ann Patchett)
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.
About the Author
Maile Meloy is the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, the short-story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (named one of the 10 Best Books of 2009 by The New York Times Book Review), and a bestselling middle-grade trilogy. Her fiction has won the Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, and the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Meloy was shortlisted for the UK’s Orange Prize and chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists.