Charlie St. Cloud was written by Ben Sherwood. It was published by Random House in 2004. This fictional novel tells the emotional journey between the main character Charlie and his deceased little brother, Sam.
One night, Charlie St. Cloud and his little brother Sam decide to take their mom’s car to go see a Red Sox game. On the way home Charlie takes his eyes off of the road to look at the moon and does not see an 18-wheeler barreling towards them. They crash right into it, and they die. When they are dead, Charlie promises Sam that they will never abandon each other. Within a few minutes a paramedic then revives Charlie, but he can’t rescue Sam. When Charlie realizes that he has the gift of seeing ghosts, he goes to play catch in the woods with Sam every single night.
Across town, a girl named Tess Carroll plans to set out on an around the world trip on a yacht. She decides to drive the ship into a storm where the boat ends up flipping. She wakes up sitting in a cemetery where her dad is buried. It seems as if Tess is invisible to everyone. Except Charlie St. Cloud. Soon enough the two begin falling in love with each other. Charlie then hears that a woman by the name of Tess Carroll has a boat that is missing and so is she. Once he realizes that he has only been seeing her spirit, he sets out to find her body. This conflicts with his daily meeting with Sam.
The biggest message of this novel comes from its theme of grief and letting go. This is a strong theme that any reader can relate to. Overall, Sherwood does a phenomenal job telling this heart wrenching story that really captivates the reader. I would highly recommend this if you are ready for an emotional roller coaster.