Thursday 28 October 2010
The Death and Life of Charlie St.Cloud by Ben Sherwood
Published in 2005 by Picador.
I believe in miracles.
Not just the simple wonders of creation, like my new son at home nursing in my wife's arms or the majesties of nature, like the sun setting in the sky. I'm talking about real miracles, like turning water into wine or bringing the living back from the dead.
When Charlie St. Cloud was just a boy, he was involved in a car crash. He died on the spot, but was brought back to life by the paramedics. Unfortunately his younger brother Sam, didn't survive the crash. Years later, we meet up with Charlie again, he is now the caretaker of the local cemetery and his life seems to have been at a standstill since his brother died. He is strongly attached to the cemetery and cannot leave. He only begins to change his ways when he meets Tess Carroll, a yachtswoman, who is about to sail the world. On meeting her, Charlie's life begins to change and he must make a decision between living with the dead or the living.
I absolutely adored this book. This is the most beautiful ghost story I have come in contact with since the film Ghost. It is not scary at all, it is poignant and wonderfully written. giving you hope that when you reach the pearly gates, there might be another life waiting for you on the other side.
Charlie is a fantastic character, one that you cannot help but fall in love with. He is unable to leave his brother and night after night he meets with him to play catch. He comes across as strong, but caring, manly but warm. I can almost see why they chose Zak Efron for the part in the new film (and I am so not a Zak Efron fan!)
This book is definitely about taking the chances that are sent your way. If opportunities arise, you should take them, run with them and watch your life blossom into the one you have always dreamed of. I would like to believe that their is something to go onto after we die and this book gives you the tiniest bit of hope.
To me, this book had elements of Flatliners and The Field of Dreams entwined in it. If you have the belief that ghosts exist, then this is definitely a book for you. A real comfort read.