The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud
Deanna Todd The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud I read “The Death and Life of Charlie St.
Cloud,” by Ben Sherwood. This book is about Charlie St. Cloud, a normal high school junior whose life completely changes one night, and then takes you on the journey through the events that take place after that horrific night. This was a really good book that has been turned into a movie, and I would highly recommend reading the book. This paper is going to tell you in depth about the book and why I enjoyed it so much.
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Charlie St. Cloud is a high school junior who along with his younger brother love the game of baseball.
Living in the small harbor village of Marblehead, Massachusetts, sailing and the water were an everyday part of life, however baseball was the joy of the St Cloud boy’s lives. Charlie’s younger brother Sam looked up to his older brother, and the two, sons of a single mother, had a very close brotherly bond. One evening while Charlie and Sam’s mother was at work, Charlie decided to ‘borrow’ the neighbor’s car to drive to Boston to watch a baseball game. On the way back their car was struck by a drunk driver and both boys were pronounced dead.However, in the ambulance, firefighter Florio Ferrente shocked Charlie back to life. As Charlie promised not to ever leave his brother’s side, he was pulled back into consciousness. It was those few moments of being “in between” that would forever change Charlie’s life.
After a decade of feeling responsible for his brother’s death, Charlie forgets about his dreams and aspirations in life. Instead he decides to become the local cemetery caretaker, and every night as the cannons signal sunset, Charlie races into the woods to meet his little brother for a game of catch.Because of being in between life and death for that short moment, Charlie can now see spirits and guide them into the next realm. Sam chooses to stay behind to be with Charlie and every night no matter what Charlie is doing or where he is, when the cannons sound he is in the woods with his brother. One day as Charlie is cleaning up the cemetery, he meets a young sailor named Tess Carroll. Tess is getting prepared to leave on a race to sail around the world. After meeting her Charlie finds himself trying to choose between the past and Sam, and his possible future with Tess.
Tess and Charlie spend a wonderful night together and the next morning, Charlie, like always has his morning coffee at a little shop on the harbor. This is where he finds out that Tess went out on a test sail and is now missing. Hearing this shocks Charlie from his “new love” state into a realization that Tess is dead. After Charlie finding out about Tess, he becomes very angry and then realizes his point in being saved that faithful night. He realizes that Tess came to him, and that she isn’t dead yet, that she is hurt and fighting to stay alive and Charlie needs to find her.He now has to choose between his promise to Sam, and his new love for Tess and their possible future in building a life together. Charlie rushes into town to find Tink, Tess’ right hand man, and explains to him that Tess is in fact alive and he intends to find her.
Needless to say Tink thinks he is crazy but embarks on the search anyways because he wants to find her just as much. As they are sailing out to ocean, the sun starts to fall and Charlie hears the cannons, he knows that he has broken the bond between him and Sam and he will never see Sam again.With tears in his eyes, he says goodbye to Sam and apologizes for breaking the promise he made to his little brother. Just then Charlie sees a shooting star in the night sky and it is as if the star is pointing him in the direction of an island. It’s Sam leading Charlie to Tess, Charlie jumps up, thanks Sam and steers the boat toward the island. Once they get close enough they spot Querencia, Tess’ boat. Once they rescued Tess and got her to the hospital, Charlie never leaves her side.
However at first Tess doesn’t recognize Charlie and it really upsets him.He gave up his brother for her and now she doesn’t remember the night they had together. Charlie still never left the hospital, and then Tess finally asked fro him, she wanted to know how they met, so Charlie told her the entire story. Charlie had finally let go of the past, and forgave himself for that night that changed his life. Now he was starting over with a brand new outlook on life and he and Tess were going to start over together. This book was very touching and heartwarming. It also reminded me a lot of Mitch Alboms books, especially “One More Day.
They made a movie about this book simply titled “Charlie St. Cloud” even though the movie was pretty good, it doesn’t compare to the book.I love to read books and watch the movies; however I am usually disappointed in the movies. I don’t like how they take so much out of the movies to fit it in a certain time frame and this movie was no different. However it is still interesting to see the characters coming to life outside of your mind. I would recommend this book and the movie, although I would suggest to watch the movie then read the book, then you won’t become upset like I did.