The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

On vacation, this was the first book I chose to read.  I had downloaded it to my Kindle before I began seeing the previews for the movie that is coming out soon.  While the movie appears to be sad and might lead you to question this as a summer vacation book choice, the book turns out to be quite uplifting.  This is the story of Charlie St. Cloud, who makes the decision to “borrow” a neighbor’s car, though he doesn’t have a license, and take his little brother to a ballgame.  On the way home, they are involved in a horrific accident, and both pass away.  Charlie is revived, while his brother is not.  Charlie is left with the gift of being able to see the spirits of the dead before they pass on into the afterlife, and occasionally even help them along on their journey.  The accident literally changed his life, but also left him stuck in a certain time and place.  Charlie does spend every evening playing ball with his brother, just like in the movie.  He is tied to working in a cemetery and plans his life around making sure he can get home to be with his brother.  He meets a girl, which changes things, and has to make some tough choices.  There were times this book bought tears to my eyes, but it is a wonderful story of love for others and the sacrifices people make.  It was moving and uplifting and well worth reading.

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