To Have Loved and Lost (The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud – A Book Review)

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud
Author: Ben Sherwood
Published: 2004

Charlie St. Cloud

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Charlie St. Cloud was nothing exceptional and all around ordinary. He did well in school, was a good big brother and had big plans for his future. He was a promising kid.

“He grew up fast, worked hard at his books, watched out for his mom and, loved his kid brother more than anyone in the world.” (Charlie, p. 8)

All of that changes when he and his little brother, Sam, get into a car accident and they die, except…Charlie comes back. He’s given a special gift. Every day at sundown, he gets to see his brother. He sees other people too. You can’t help that when you work in a cemetery. He doesn’t mind at all.

Tess Carroll, a phenomenal sailor, comes home before setting out on a trip around the world. When she meets Charlie she isn’t sure she wants to go. She connects with him instantly and isn’t sure why. She’s just drawn to him and him to her.

CSC

This was a one day read done in a matter of seven hours. Now, I fly through books like that easily, but more often than not, I like to take my time to enjoy the story and make it last as long as possible.

I loved this book through and through. My heart melted more and more with each chapter. The scenery was soft and beautiful and my heart swelled whenever I came to a part with Charlie and his brother. I just flat out melted into a ridiculous puddle when he was with Tess. There was some serious romance that could rival Nicholas Sparks.

puddle

The style and tone of the writing allowed me to see from various characters’ POVs and it was very well done. So much feeling, like I could sit on the end of a dock and listen to the wind on the water, which is one of the most intimate and pleasant moments for me to take and contemplate life with. This wasn’t a drama. It was a book with love. Love for family. Love that lights romance on fire.

The way that Charlie and Tess came together was like peanut butter and chocolate. Lovely when separated, but together they’re the perfect combination. This romance isn’t shoved together with some awkward meeting or damsel in need of rescuing. It’s just a girl trying to visit a loved one and a guy trying to chase off geese. So simple and maybe even a way of the fates bringing them together. I got way TOO many emotions and love, and let me tell you, I wanted to be Tess. To find a man like Charlie? One could only be so lucky.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a beautiful piece of art that includes spirit, love, humanity and loss. I highly recommend this book. I was very surprised when I read it. I didn’t expect to get so attached. And yes, Zac Efron is a very nice image of Charlie St. Cloud.

 

Quotables:

“The serenity around him was palpable. Now he had this paradise to himself; fourteen hours until the world returned. For him these were the most precious moments. Time for himself. Times to be. Time to think. But most of all, time for his most important activity, hidden deep in the woods.” (Charlie, p. 52)

“Charlie blinked, Sam vanished, and all that was left in the Forest of Shadows was the fading light and the whoosh of the wind.” (Charlie, p. 113)

“Nothing had changed. Everything had changed.” (Charlie, p. 209)

“There are lots of things you don’t understand, but don’t worry. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” (Sam, p. 250)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Holding Out For a Hero by Ella Mae Bowen.

 

Find me on Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

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