Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

Title: Charlie St. Cloud
Author: Ben Sherwood
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
In a snug New England fishing village, Charlie St. Cloud tends the lawns and monuments of an ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam, is buried. After surviving the car accident that claimed his brother’s life, Charlie is graced with an extraordinary gift: He can see, talk to, and even play catch with Sam’s spirit. Into this magical world comes Tess Carroll, a captivating woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe. Fate steers her boat into a treacherous storm that propels her into Charlie’s life. Their beautiful and uncommon connection leads to a race against time and a choice between death and life, between the past and the future, between holding on and letting go--and the discovery that miracles can happen if we simply open our hearts.

I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked up Charlie St. Cloud if it wasn’t for the movie coming out. As a general rule, I try to read the book before I watch the movie just because the movie doesn’t ruin the book. Since I intend to see the movie when it comes out, I decided to read the book. All I had to go on was the preview for movie and when reading the book I recognized some scenes that I had glimpsed in the preview. The book overall was a good read and I really enjoyed it.

Thirteen years ago, Charlie St. Cloud nearly died in a car crash that killed his twelve-year-old brother Sam. Since then, Charlie has been able to see Sam and works at the cemetery where he is buried. In comes Tess Carroll, a young woman preparing to embark on a solo sailing trip around the world. When Charlie and Tess meet there is an instant connection between the two, a connection that causes Charlie to make decisions and feel things he never thought he would have to until then.

I really liked Charlie’s character, if I were able to pick an older brother he is definitely the one I would go for. Either that I would fall in love with him like Tess did. He was just a really likable character. He was so devoted to his younger brother Sam, despite what it did to his own life. Throughout the whole novel you could tell that Charlie was hurting and that he truly felt responsible for what had happened to Sam. But at the same time he met Tess and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to break the promise he had made to Sam but at the same time he wanted a life with Tess.

If you forget the whole ghost aspect of the novel, the other characters were also really believable and you just wanted to get to know them more. Sam was great, sure he was a twelve-year-old but so often it felt like he was so much older, especially when he was with Tess. I also really like Tess. There was just something about her that made her really easy to like, I don’t really know how to explain it. And there was also the fact that she wasn’t what she looked like.

It was more than just a love story between Tess and Charlie and a story about two brothers. There is just so much more than that to Charlie St. Cloud. The story is really well written and throughout you just can’t help but feel Charlie’s pain and longing for something more than his life in the cemetery. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and it reminded me a lot of some of Nicholas Sparks’s stories. If you want to see the movie I recommend that you read the book first and also you enjoy Nicholas Sparks’s books, you will most likely enjoy Charlie St. Cloud as well. 

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