The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood will probably appeal to Nicholas Spark’s readers. The main character is a good-looking, charismatic man who is far too good to be true, while the story has a tragedy, a romance and a little bit of magic.
As a teenager, Charlie St. Cloud made a mistake which caused the death of his 12-year old brother Sam. Now a young man in his twenties, Charlie works at the cemetery in his home town, managing burials and maintaining the grounds while comforting the bereaved.
When the accident which killed Sam took place, Charlie also died but was brought back from the dead, and has been able to see dead people ever since. At the cemetery he often finds himself comforting the recently deceased, who are sometimes confused by their death and sad because they couldn’t say goodbye to their loved ones.
After sunset Charlie plays baseball and hangs with Sam, who is unable to move on to heaven or the next level (don’t ask me what that is, because that’s all that I know) because of his connection with Charlie. Charlie never goes far from town, because he has learned that if he misses an evening with Sam, Sam starts to fade and neither brother is ready to let go of the other.
Things change for both Charlie and Sam when Tess shows up at the cemetery. She is a sailor whose yacht capsized in a terrible storm and the ‘boaty’ references come thick and fast whenever she is around. Charlie and Tess fall in love in about three minutes, before either of them realise she is dead.
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is a light, sweet read. I’m sure I’ll watch the movie with Miss S sometime soon, mostly because she was a big fan of Zac Efron who plays Charlie in the film during his High School Musical years.