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    Review of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF CHARLIE ST. CLOUD by Ben Sherwood (see his website)

    Bantam Books, March 2004

    He was destined for great things--until a drunk driver and a terrible mistake ended his dreams. Charlie St. Cloud recovered from the auto wreck--in the car he'd 'borrowed,' brought back to life by paramedics. His younger brother, Sam, though, died. And Charlie finds himself unable to move on, living his life in the graveyard where he buried his brother. When beautiful sailor Tess Carroll shows up in his graveyard, confused by her recent accident and still grieving for her father's death, Charlie feels an attraction stronger than any he's experienced before. But he knows that he can't enter into a relationship. His promise to stay with Sam comforts Charlie, but it also limits him. Still, there is something about Tess that's important, and that Charlie needs to understand.

    THE DEATH AND LIFE OF CHARLIE ST. CLOUD is about life, death, and moving on. Because Sam's death--and Charlie's promise--gave Charlie the gift of seeing spirits of the recently dead as they work their way to the future. But the gift and the promise hold both Sam and Charlie in a curious halfway world between life and the promise of an afterlife.

    Author Ben Sherwood's strong writing adds emotional depth to his story of life, hope, and the search for something meaningful in the universe. Sherwood's descriptions of everyday life in Essex County, New England and of the relationships between the major characters and their family and friends ring true and satisfying. If you're looking for a thoughtful pick-me-up, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF CHARLIE ST. CLOUD is a great choice.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/11/04

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