Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
A Novel

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Meloy’s “Do Not Become Alarmed” is not that sort of energetic, swivel-eyed production. It’s an earnest and surprisingly generic children-in-jeopardy novel, one that makes few demands on us and doesn’t deliver much, either.
-NY Times

Synopsis

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.
 

About Maile Meloy

See more books from this Author
Maile Meloy (www.theapothecarybook.com) is the award-winning author of several short story collections for adults: Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It and Half in Love, as well as the novels for adults: Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter. The Apothecary was her first middle-grade novel. 
 
Published June 6, 2017 by Riverhead Books. 350 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Do Not Become Alarmed
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 07 2017

This writer can apparently do it all—New Yorker stories, children’s books, award-winning literary novels, and now, a tautly plotted and culturally savvy emotional thriller. Do not start this book after dinner or you will almost certainly be up all night.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Jun 15 2017

That's an unexpected moment in a novel that's filled with them. Meloy is such a deft writer that she keeps the adventure plot whizzing along even as she deepens our sense of the characters and the unfamiliar culture they have to navigate.

Read Full Review of Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Jun 06 2017

Meloy’s “Do Not Become Alarmed” is not that sort of energetic, swivel-eyed production. It’s an earnest and surprisingly generic children-in-jeopardy novel, one that makes few demands on us and doesn’t deliver much, either.

Read Full Review of Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Steph Cha on Jul 14 2017

But Meloy didn’t write a manifesto; she wrote a page-turner, prioritizing action, delivering a wild, propulsive plot with tight prose and a constant current of suspense. It’s a thrilling novel, well constructed and hard to put down, a sharp reminder that the tide can take us anywhere, even when the water looks fine.

Read Full Review of Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Julie Myerson on Jun 28 2017

A novel that started out so promisingly develops a cartoon-like brittleness. The baddie is described lazily, almost Trumpishly, as “unredeemably bad” and the Tarantinoesque descriptions of eyeballs popping and blood spurting sit uneasily...

Read Full Review of Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
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