I bought this book when I was looking for a novel with a surfing connection. (I get requests for those periodically, and they aren’t that easy to find.) Waves is a beautiful book on more than one level, and I think our regular readers, surfers or not, will like it, especially if they enjoy characters with extrasensory perception.
Hal, his older sister Charley, his little sister Sarah and their parents go to Cornwall, on the west coast of England, every summer. That is until this summer, when the family finally makes the difficult decision to go without Charley. Charley is in a hospital in a coma. She’s been there since the previous summer when she had a strange accident in the water. Hal found her washed up on the rocks. She has never spoken since. She has a breathing machine to help her, and Hal thinks of her as more dead than alive. He is angry at his parents, who talk to Charley as though she can hear them; yet he also understands how difficult it must be let go of a beloved child.
So Hal is surprised when, after going to the beach and meeting Jackie, the sister of Charley’s boyfriend Pete, Charley comes very much alive for him. He can hear her voice in his head—and in fact, Charley can hear Hal’s voice and see through his eyes as she lies motionless in her hospital bed. As the two inhabit one another, Hal slowly pulls together the pieces of what happened to Charley, alone on the water in the middle of the night. He learns about Pete’s past, about his old girlfriend Am and her crazy dad, and about Charley falling in love, Charley’s fears. (Yes, this does happen slowly. If you can’t read unless something is exploding on each page, you may not be able to get into this one. But if you like tracing the psychology of young love—the excitement and the jealousy–I think you’re going to like it.)
A bonus of Waves is that it’s well-written—so you not only have a good story, but you’ll enjoy the beautiful language, which pulls you into that seaside rhythm.