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 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....
Beth asked only a minor redemption--something that would stuff back the acid remarks that everyone had made about where Vincent's career of minor crime and major slough-offs would end, because it had so far outlasted the most generous boundaries of juvenile delinquency. She wished one thing itself, simple and linear: Let Vincent's movie succeed....
Only long months from that morning did Beth, a superstitious woman all her life, realize she had forgotten that if a wish slipped like an arrow through a momentary slice in the firmament, it was free to come true any way it would. Only fools thought its trajectory could ever be controlled.
No Time to Wave Goodbye
I could have read this book in one sitting. I came close. I read it straight through with as few interruptions as possible. Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean is one of few books that has remained whole and clear and fresh in my mind. Probably because it vividly sets out a mother's (family's) worst nightmare. A disappearing child. One small lapse of caution and a beloved child is lost--forever?
What is really true about The Deep End of the Ocean is that two children were lost and 20 years later still not completely found. While the kidnapped son, Ben/Sam, is drawn with care and understanding, No Time to Wave Goodbye is Beth and Vincent's story. Vincent because he lost his childhood more than Ben--Ben grew up as a well-loved child while Vincent grew up with guilt, distant parents, and palpable grief. Ben gets to choose who he truly loves while Vincent aches for but cannot accept his parents' unconditional love. And, this is Beth's story as she grieves for sons lost and finally found.
No Time to Wave Goodbye is Vincent's gift to his mother and a personal catharsis. Vincent has finally stepped up and taken life defining steps. He has come into his own.
For a few brief months the family is closer to healing than seemed possible, and then the unthinkable, unimaginable happens. The family is sucked into a drama so severe and heartbreaking that all ground is lost. Fears and emotions rule and destroy.
This is a story of redemption--hard won, but truly found.