With the imminent UK release of the movie version staring Zac Efron, I thought it might be fun to look again at one of my pre-book-blog book reviews of the book on which it is based. This review originally appeared on my personal blog on January 22, 2006.
This is one of those books that are really hard to review without giving away the plot. However I shall endeavor to do my best.
The story revolves around the titular Charlie St Cloud, starting with the close relationship between the 15 year old Charlie and his 12 year old brother. Both good, responsible kids apart from one day, when an error of judgement by Charlie leads to a fatal accident, in which his brother perishes and Charlie barely survives.
You know this is going to happen, it says so in the blurb, and reading the chapters which deal with it, is like sitting in the road waiting for the truck to hit, and not being able/wanting to get out of the way.
Afterwards the story proper starts 13 years later, with Charlie still trying to come to terms with his loss.
I enjoyed the journey the author takes Charlie on as he eventually comes to terms with everything, and he takes time to show what a thoroughly nice guy Charlie is, (and not just because of his need for atonement).
Along the way he meets Tess Carroll, a yachtswoman who finally completes Charlie’s journey from death to life. And a sweet heart warming romance it is to, and could be even better if it had longer to develop. I understand the authors reasons for not doing so (as will you when you read it,) but still I was left with a sense of something missing
Is it a good read though? Without doubt it is, I read it in a night, a first for me for quite a while, and even though you will want more from the book than it can give you, I definitely recommend it.