Do Not Become Alarmed started off with two families on a cruise in South America. During a shore excursion, the children of the families suddenly disappeared, leaving their parents in a foreign country desperate to find them. I always hate saying this when the plot involves kidnapping, but this was a fantastic read! The novel had every element I love in good books. The characters moved with purposed and were motivated by their backgrounds and emotions. Each chapter was filled with events that moved the plot along at a good pace and which also helped each character make the decisions they did. The author succinctly explained the efforts to locate the children, but significant developments were revealed through conversation so that the characters were involved in the story.
I loved that the author spent different chapters on a variety of characters. That allowed both the parents and the children to be understood. The children, who ranged in age from six to eleven, were the real stars of this novel and really made it work. They had moxie. They weren’t rude, but they were insisted about getting back to their parents. They asked questions, they made observations, and they made decisions that were believable.
The children’s journey back home was the more interesting portion of the novel. Although, the parents’ story was especially unique given that they were thrown off the cruise ship (after all the other cruisers needed to continue on with their vacation) and basically left stranded in a foreign county. Since there wasn’t a U.A, Ambassador in the country, they were left to deal with the authorities mostly on their own.
This was a great novel that I could easily see as a movie. I highly recommend this!