Becky's Reviews > Waves

Waves by Sharon Dogar
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's review
Jan 16, 11

bookshelves: read-for-review
Read from January 07 to 10, 2011, read count: 1

Waves is a contemporary story about family, heartbreaking loss and first love.

Hal and his family spend every summer in their big sea-front house in Cornwall. It is a house that belongs to everyone and no one. It is a house full of shimmering summer memories. But this summer, the house is full of grief and sadness because this is the first time the family have spent the summer without Charley.

The story of brother and sister – Hal and Charley – is told through a dual narrative which moves between Then (the summer before) and Now (the summer without Charley). Hal’s story is one of grief, anger and guilt. However hard Hal tries to shut out the pain of Charley’s voice and the memories of her, he never quite manages it. Charley’s story is one that weaves through her journey from last summer until the unconscious place she exists in now – she is in a coma back in an Oxford hospital – remembering the sweet tingles of first love and the dark shadow that twists anxiety inside her.

Dogar’s writing is poetic and just as rhythmic as the tides that she describes. The setting is a contrast between the wild, bright, golden beach and the twisted, dark shadowy woods. It reflects the two tides of the story – the tender discovery of first love and the sinister foreboding truth which is waiting to be unravelled.

The narrative moves comfortably between Hal and Charley. And yet both voices are convincingly individual. I preferred Hal for the simple fact that he was so self-deprecating. He knew he was a follower rather than a leader. But he was fine with that. He stayed true to himself as the plot twisted and turned. Charley is like a gale force wind blowing through a town whipping life into everything and everyone as she goes.

Waves plays with language and the sounds of words so elegantly. It is a dream to read. It is emotive and tantalisingly evocative of the seaside setting. It is a contemporary story of a family grieving but it is also a tense, suspenseful and unnerving read which explores secrets, lies and the beauty of childhood. Fans of Before I Fall and Twenty Boy Summer will love this book. I certainly did.

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