Saturday, February 5, 2011
Charlie St. Cloud (The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud)
This book was a breath of fresh air. It's about a guy named Charlie St. Cloud who can't let go of his little brother. In a near death experience, Charlie is shocked back to life after a severe car accident, in which his little brother Sam dies. Before Charlie is shocked back to life, he makes a promise. He promises that he will always be with Sam, and never leave him. He keeps this promise years later by playing catch with his brother every night and talking with him until day break. The metaphor of Charlie living among the dead by working in a cemetery and talking with his little brother is a powerful statement on grief. The interesting thing about Charlie being able to see his brother, was the fact this ability applied to other people. He would see the dead at their own funeral, and watch them grieve along with their loved ones. The message in this book is very clear, life is short, so live it the best you can. There's also an underlying message about grief. Charlie's grief holds him back from his own life. There's a great quote from the book that really got me:
"Too many good people die a little when they lose someone they love" (Sherwood 267). Charlie's story of death and life is a deep and powerful reflection on the choices and events that determine who we are and how we live. The past is there for a reason, however there is a point where you have to move on, and truly live.
It may seem that the subject of the story is death, but I believe the true subject is life.