No Time To Wave Goodbye

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Published by: Random House
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Pages: 256
ISBN13: 978-0812979572


It seems like an easy choice, marketing-wise.

Why not write a sequel to my most successful novel—The Deep End of the Ocean? A follow-up to the first Oprah Winfrey Book Club book! 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.


“Jacquelyn Mitchard has done it again. In this masterful sequel to her blockbuster bestseller, The Deep End of the Ocean, she captivates us once more, revisiting characters so human, so flawed, that their angst becomes ours. As the best of intentions go awry, the reader is drawn into an adventure so gripping that only a storyteller of Ms. Mitchard’s stature can resolve it with meaning and grace. Prepare for a climax that will capture your heart in this powerful story of reconciliation and redemption.”
Barbara Delinsky, author of While My Sister Sleeps

“For everyone who adored The Deep End of the Ocean-rejoice! Mitchard’s latest brings back the Cappadora family, as the most unexpected of tragedies forces them to test the relationships they’ve built in the wake of Ben’s return. It’s vintage Mitchard: full of characters you feel like you already know, and a plot that keeps you reading till the last page.”
Jodi Picoult, author of Handle with Care

No Time to Wave Goodbye is a bold, brilliant, powerhouse of a novel. I read it in one sitting, unable to walk away until I’d come to the startling and unexpected end. A dramatic tale of heartbreak and triumph, No Time to Wave Goodbye is a beautifully written story about a scarred and broken family facing old wounds and a terrifying new tragedy with grace and strength. Jacquelyn Mitchard has done the impossible: written a sequel to her blockbuster Deep End of the Ocean that has all the richness, emotional impact, and relevance of the original. All I can say is, once you start this novel, I hope you have nothing else to do, because you won’t be able to put it down.
Kristen Hannah, author of True Colors

“Few writers wield prose as masterfully as Jacquelyn Mitchard, and her latest novel No Time to Wave Goodbye proves she has only grown more powerful. Hauntingly lyrical yet blisteringly real and intense, this sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean will leave you gasping until the very last page. I read this book in one sitting, and once done, I wanted to read it all over again, word by word, line by line, in awe of her talent.”
James Rollins, author of The Doomsday Key

“If at its best a family is a safety net, what happens when the net unravels? Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novel, No Time To Wave Goodbye, examines a family victimized. She doesn’t sidestep considering the impact of ambiguous rescues or uncertain recoveries. Racing, taut, rich in tension and tenderness.”
Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked