The Running Waves is a book about two brothers learning to come to terms with hard times in each of their lives. The younger of the two brothers, Colin, is a 19-year-old shoe store employee trying, unsuccessfully at first, to get past the accident that killed his two best friends the previous year. Dermot is the 23-year-old elder brother, home from college for the summer. He comes home to hide for awhile from the fact that his girlfriend, someone he thought might be “the one,” broke up with him. The pair lives in Silver Shores Cape Cod, a popular destination for tourists on their way to Martha’s Vineyard. Dermot can see that Colin is not doing well and wants to help his brother but must first figure himself out.
The authors of The Running Waves change the characters’ point of view with each new chapter, making the switching easy to follow and also allowing the reader to understand both boys. In the end, the brothers come together in ways they hadn’t since their younger days. Dermot lets go of his former love and Colin finds a way to move past his friends’ tragic deaths: “He instantly pictured Matt and Paul on either side of him, and he smiled, realizing they were no longer ghosts haunting him. No he now knew his friends were spirits who would always be there to guide him.”
The authors of this book crafted two believable and sympathetic characters. While some people may not see turning to drugs as a way to deal with things, this coping behavior fit in line with Colin’s character, who dealt with things the only way he knew how. However, it was for this reason, that I personally connected more with Dermot and found him easier to emphasize with.