Deep End of the Ocean "review"

    In this post I will respond to the multitude of emotional twists and turns the novel Deep End of the Ocean delivers.  Admittedly, I had a heavy bias while starting this novel, for one; I thought it was a “true story”, as in nonfiction, and for two; I do not believe in Oprah’s Army.  With the bare amount of research possible (i.e. Googling the name of the book) I discovered that I should read the back jacket of a book before writing about it.  After much internal debate, I have chosen to direct my paper specifically towards you THE READER.  So, in essence, I am writing to an audience of one, so I could make this very informal and loose.  So what’s happening with you?  Enjoying the post so far?
    On to the real subject of this paper: what did you (meaning me) think of the Deep End of The Ocean?  Well, I enjoyed it!  It shattered my preconceptions and shook the foundation of my metaphysical constructs.  Meaning, it made me rethink my position on child kidnapping.  Normally, I would be against it, however, this book has taught me that perhaps kidnapping shouldn’t be avoided; perhaps it can have a positive effect on the community around me and my immediate family. 
    Sure kidnapping results in unfathomable grief 90% of the time, which is why my preconception was that kidnapping is bad, of course.  This book changed all that, through the creative writing of Mrs. Mitchard I discovered that a missing child can bring the family together (if you squint really hard).  It also brings about life-long friendships with lesbian policemen.  Believe me; if you are car jacked and a lesbian policeman offers to find your car, the odds are very slim that the lesbian and yourself will bond forever more.  However, as soon as that car has a conscience, are at least can express a position of suffering or ecstasy, the rules change.
    Talking cars aside, let me focus on my favorite aspect of this novel.  My favorite part was the arbitrary perspective switch to Vincent.  Vincent, or Reese’s Pieces as he loves to be called, is a lovable delinquent who’s hilarious antics remind me of Ponyboy from The Outsiders (albeit with less stabbing in general).  In fact, it reminds me so much of The Outsiders that I recommend reading that to fully understand Vincent’s motivations for his brotherly resonating in his short-lived Martha Stewart living style (jail I mean, of course).  Not having time to summarize The Outsiders, I will simply move on and hope no questions are raised further about this subject.  Seriously, I won’t mention The Outsiders again, nor Ponyboy, or even the word Greaser.
    People who are perhaps not insiders aside, I believe this book (The Deep End of the Ocean, and not another with a main character whose name rhymes with Lonely Koi) delves deep into the psyche of an emotionally troubled mother, whose name coincidently sounds a lot like Death.  She (Death) repeatedly refers to the notion of an avalanche, wherein she fears being smothered by the past.  This idea never grew on me, perhaps because I view the past as a warm smothering blanket with little hearts on it, or perhaps because I am not haunted by a missing family member that sprang forth from my very loins.  Either way, I could not identify with this particular notion.  So, I therefore reject its immediate or post-pre-now existence.
    Not being able to talk about the existence of the nonexistent is a proposal that is prominent within this book.  After all Beth repeatedly lashes out at any outsider (doh) that claims that her boy still exists (lets equate existence with life by the way).  She does this a few other times with examples that are less clear so I will omit them in the spirit of brevity (or laziness).  With these several clear examples I have justified my claim that I made in the first sentence of this very paragraph!
    Speaking of justifications, what exactly was the justification for Ben’s (Sam’s) anticlimactic return in the end?  Was it the notion that blood is thinker than water?  Could it be that Ben (Sam) realized that his new (old) family would have much more resources (money) than his old (new) family (i.e. George)?  Or could it be the want of an audience for an uplifting ending?  We may never know.
    My last point is to point out how no one likes their name in this book.  Vincent becomes Reese, Ben becomes Sam, Pat becomes Patty, Detective Candy becomes Chief Candy, and Beth becomes Veronica Mars (I may be mistaken on one of those illustrations).  My point is this; to change your name, in essence, is to change your identity.  Each character was striving to become something different that what they were before.  This existential flux was an underpinning overarch throughout this book. 
    In conclusion, this book taught me that kidnapping can be cool if you try hard enough, lifelong lesbian friendships are hard to come by without talking cars, and Ponyboy got a fair trial.   Oh, and our notion of names is deeply tied to our self identity and our family dynamics.  I would actually recommend this book to my mother (could be awkward to just thrust a missing child book at her), perhaps my Aunt (I don’t know her well enough to give her a real book), and my closest friend (out of spite, of course).  I leave you with one final thought: do you use (enough) parenthesis in your (own) writing?  And as a final final thought I simply add: don’t be like Beth, be like Thomas, Thomas has the most money and the least issues.

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