Surface Tension
Brent Runyon

Hardcover/194 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375844461
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". . . a quick and delightful book to take to the beach . . ."

Surface Tension: A teen’s-eye view of growing up.

“Cool Hand” Luke Kelly, as the compulsively neat and orderly Mr. Richardson calls him, is excited and happy. He and his parents are on their way to their summer cottage for two whole weeks to enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, canoeing and freedom. Each familiar landmark brings him closer and closer to his favorite spots, but his happiness is short-lived because his mother won’t allow him to have a kitten. Luke decides the only way to make it happen is to find a luck-stone, a lake washed stone with a hole in it, before his vacation ends. With a luck-stone, he’ll get his kitten and his heart’s desire. This tale begins the first of four summers in Luke’s life.

Growing up is hard enough, but being a teenager is even more difficult, not only for the parents but for the teenager, a fact Brent Runyon obviously knows and uses to good effect in Surface Tension. From thirteen to sixteen, in four summers at his cottage on the lake, Luke goes from being excited and easily pleased to enter the stages of being too cool to hang with his parents, his sexual awakening, being in love and dumped by his girlfriend. He is a typical teenager, confused and full of wonder and angst—sometimes at the same time.

Runyon shares Luke’s changing views with wit and charm. His true insight into the nature of growing up and evolving makes Surface Tension a quick and delightful book to take to the beach or when you need a little summer vacation memory to lighten the hours.


Reviewer: J. M. Cornwel