2 reviews

No Time to Wave Goodbye: A Novel
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Published: 2009-09-15
Hardcover : 228 pages
0 members reading this now
0 club reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 2 members
New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard captured the heart of a nation with The Deep End of the Ocean, her celebrated debut novel about mother Beth Cappadora, a child kidnapped, a family in crisis. Now, in No Time to Wave Goodbye, the unforgettable Cappadoras are in peril ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard captured the heart of a nation with The Deep End of the Ocean, her celebrated debut novel about mother Beth Cappadora, a child kidnapped, a family in crisis. Now, in No Time to Wave Goodbye, the unforgettable Cappadoras are in peril once again, forced to confront an unimaginable evil.

It has been twenty-two years since Beth Cappadora's three-year-old son Ben was abducted. By some miracle, he returned nine years later, and the family began to pick up the pieces of their lives. But their peace has always been fragile: Ben returned from the deep end as another child and has never felt entirely at ease with the family he was born into. Now the Cappadora children are grown: Ben is married with a baby girl, Kerry is studying to be an opera singer, and Vincent has emerged from his troubled adolescence as a fledgling filmmaker.

The subject of Vincent's new documentary, ?No Time to Wave Goodbye,? shakes Vincent's unsuspecting family to the core; it focuses on five families caught in the tortuous web of never knowing the fate of their abducted children. Though Beth tries to stave off the torrent of buried emotions, she is left wondering if she and her family are fated to relive the past forever.

The film earns tremendous acclaim, but just as the Cappadoras are about to celebrate the culmination of Vincent's artistic success, what Beth fears the most occurs, and the Cappadoras are cast back into the past, revisiting the worst moment of their lives?with only hours to find the truth that can save a life. High in a rugged California mountain range, their rescue becomes a desperate struggle for survival.

No Time to Wave Goodbye
is Jacquelyn Mitchard at her best, a spellbinding novel about family loyalty, and love pushed to the limits of endurance.

From the Hardcover edition.

An Essay by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Motherhood?The Sequel

How I grieved when my three older sons??gen one? of my seven children?began to achieve young manhood. Every inch they grew made me shrink a little inside. The older they got, the less they would need me. I?d lost the sweet confidences, heartfelt hugs and even unruly tears of the little boys I?d known as a first-time mom. And I thought I had lost my sons.

How wrong I was.

Sure, I still miss those first little boys (although my youngest children today are little boys, too, just three and five). I still miss my effortless size six jeans, too. I haven?t seen them since.

But the way I feel about my older sons took me completely by surprise?as does the way they feel about me.

Like my character Beth Cappadora in No Time To Wave Goodbye, I thought motherhood was time-limited, a vocation that required gear, mittens with zippers, and car seats and bags of Cheerios. When I put away childish things, I felt, just as Beth did, that I?d outlived my usefulness to growing guys. I was just a sweet-and-sour relic of their past and. While I was anything but ?finished? with them, they were more than finished with me. But that turned out to be only adolescence.

As they grew older, I learned that they needed their mother differently, but equally urgently, as they did when they needed me to hold their spoons.

It's against me that they practice the beliefs I tried to instill (the ones they now praise as genuinely as they previously rejected them). It's with me that they offer a more quaint and tender courtship than they give their girlfriends?only the flowers on the bedside table are roses instead of dandelions.

I never imagined the bond I would feel when I heard Marty, 19, sing on a stage in front of 500 people?and saw him search the crowd for my face. I never anticipated the thrill of accompanying my 22-year-old chef-in-training to dinner and listening with quiet pride as he ordered for both of us. I marvel as my Rob, 25, (a fiercely indifferent high school student) now worries every college grade to an A?then turns to me for approval.

And so the 'sequel? to my biggest bestselling novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, is more than a tale of a family tested beyond the limits of endurance, twice in a lifetime. It's a story that reflects so much of what I?ve learned in 13 intervening years since the book was published. Love that changes isn?t love lost; just as mist and ice are only water in another form, equally lovely.

Beth Cappadora learns more than how tough she really is in her sons? time of agony in No Time To Wave Goodbye. She learns that she's still a mother and she still matters.

And so did I. Jacquelyn Mitchard

(Photo © Liane R. Harrison)

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Chapter One

Before dawn on the day she would finally see his first real film, Beth Cappadora slipped into the guest room and lay down on the edge of the bed where her son, Vincent, slept.

Had she touched his hair or his shoulder, he would not have stirred. When he slept at all, Vincent slept like a man who'd fallen from a relaxed standing position after being hit on the back of the head by a frying pan. Still, she didn't take the risk. Her relationship with Vincent didn't admit of nighttime confidences, funny cards, all the trappings of the sentimental, platonic courtship between a mother and her grown boy. Instead, Beth blessed the air around his head, where coiled wisps of dark hair still sprang up as they had when he was a child. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

No discussion questions at this time.

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

A Note from Jacquelyn Mitchard:

Dear Readers,

It seemed like an easy choice, marketing-wise.

Why not write a sequel to my most successful novel—The Deep End of the Ocean? Guaranteed readership, right? Wheeee!

In fact, I fought this decision even after my agent and my editor endorsed my idea as a book that could stand on its own. I loved my story. But I was wary. “Real authors,” except those gifted with a complex continuing character, don’t write sequels, thirteen years later. And I didn’t know if I could actually write about the Cappadoras, thirteen years after I created them.

So slowly, and haltingly, I began.

I feathered in the story in the first book—but didn’t re-tell it. The point was not the kidnapping and remarkable recovery of three-year-old Ben Cappadora, who came home, nine years later, to a family he didn’t remember. This was about the mother of both sons and the boy who truly was lost—Vincent, who let go of his brother’s hand. The first book closed with the family in an uneasy peace.

I thought I could leave them that way.

It’s true, whenever I gave a reading or taught a class or spoke on a panel, people asked me, “What happened to Beth and Pat? What happened to Vincent?”

And suddenly, in the midst of working on another book, I knew. I knew the story that would become No Time to Wave Goodbye, the book I hope you’re now holding in your hands. It was the most natural thing in the world.

The Cappadoras were part of my molecules.

Although I delight in researching something new—what my friend Karin Slaughter calls “what I know and what I want to know”—there was a special confidence and joy in going back, after a long time away. I returned to who I was and who I am—to the rhythms my west-side Chicago upbringing, the shouts of men and women hailing each other from their concrete stoops as the street lights came on, my father’s piercing whistle telling us to come in, baseball games that started in June and the score was 300 to 276 when school started. I heard the boys in brown leather jackets who sang doo-wop on summer nights even in the 1970s, the fathers in strappy t-shirts mowing the lawn, the church bells, the roar and clatter of the train bound for the Loop. I smelled the wine and sugar in the gravy and the cordite of fireworks that weren’t illegal then. I felt my godmother Serafina’s soft hands as she measured me for a dress. There was a comfort in writing about big Italian men in handmade suits who would not think twice about giving the diamond on their pinkie rings to a friend—or about breaking the fingers of an enemy—about seeing altar boys rush into church in baseball cleats and the Christmas party at the Moose Lodge. The police. When a big truck crossed over the huge concrete bridge, just a hundred yards away, my bedroom windows rattled; my music box played a single note. My mother’s roses in their wooden boxes on the tar terrace outside our apartment. Her cologne … My Sin.

I grew up with the Cappadoras.

They are almost an alter-me.

I knew what could happen to the Cappadoras, so long and intimately in the public eye, reluctantly placed in that position again. I knew how they would react. I spent the next nine months with them in grateful struggle.

When I was finished, I had a book that made me happy. I had gone back to that place—those sounds and sights and voices—again, in No Time to Wave Goodbye.

I hope you’ll be happy you went back with me.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Deep End of the Ocean Revisited"by suebooksri (see profile) 03/10/10

If you read "Deep End of the Ocean", you will love to find out what happens to this family years later. Not the deepest book out there, but I really enjoyed reading it. Took it on vacation and couldn't... (read more)

  "No Time To Wave Goodbye"by dulceylima (see profile) 09/18/09

Jacqueline Mitchard’s newest book No Time to Wave Goodbye was just released and I devoured it. It is the riveting sequel to Deep End of the Ocean, Mitchard’s first novel which was chose... (read more)

Rate this book
Remember me

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...