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4.4 out of 5 stars99
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2006
I read this book six months ago and I still cannot stop thinking about it, in fact I read it in one night. This is a light book but is original, gripping and very moving although I cried alot it left me feeling good about life, on a more personal note I lost my brother a few years ago and maybe this book was wishful thinking on my part. A surprising twist at the end as well, anyway i loved this book and will definately read more books from this auther.
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on 28 June 2004
When teenager Charlie and his little brother Sam borrow a neighbour's car without her knowledge, the result is a fatal crash and a near death experience for Charlie. Unfortunately his brother wasn't so lucky.
Unable to move forward after Sam's untimely death, Charlie takes a job as caretaker of the cemetary where Sam is buried. He's caught up in the past.
Tess, training for a solo sailing trip around the globe is strong, independant and has always been unable to find true love.
When they meet they feel an over-powering connection. This is a mesmerising story of an unusual romance set against the backdrop of a small New England community.
Issues of grief, remembrance and the afterlife are all explored in this story. Charlie is still tied to his grief and promises made to his brother, Tess is in need of her father's guidance but he's already passed on and is beyond where she can reach him. There's plenty of action too as Tess sails straight into the eye of a storm.
Ben Sherwood's writing is poignant and the tale is told with a magical simplicity. It's a story in which miracles are suddenly possible and the prose tantalises you. I haven't been this swept away by a love story since reading the Bridges of Madison County.
It is a wonderful and moving read.
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on 28 May 2007
This novel is one of the most unusual love stories. It really opens your eyes (and fills them with tears too) to the presence of love in our lives not just the feelings of love for a partner but for our siblings also, whether they are present or absent. It's told in a really tender manner, and although it's a short read (like some of the other critics on this page, I read the entire book in one day whilst on holidays), I remembered this book the most!
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on 27 August 2005
There is no need to use more sophisticated words to describe the beauty of this fantastic novel. It speaks for itself. I might be too romantic, but I dont care what cynicals might say about it. What a package! This beautifully written story has a pinch of everything: it is comforting,sweet,romantic,
thrilling,entertaining,spiritual, and even a bit sexy, at one stage!
Yes, it can be predictable, but that does not make it banal or boring, does it? I think its author might have smartly opted for some "predictability" in order to make us utterly part of this magical plot,feeling a little responsible for nearly wishing for what happens. I am sure B.Sherwood didnt want us to put his book down, and he succeeds, no matter how busy we are!
If you,like me,could see what was coming in the many different parts of the story, then it has worked as a great and meaningful novel,despite its simplicity! Why? Because it has brought all of us(readers from different backgrounds and beliefs) back to our basics: the secret desire to love and be loved, and most of all, the wish to believe(even if reluctantly) that there might be something beyond our *water,salt,flesh and blood" frail bodies.
Above all, this story is about love and life.You will catch yourself thinking about where your priorities should really be during your time spent over here, despite what you believe in. Not to be missed!
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on 20 January 2006
What a joy to find a book that's simple to read. The concepts in it will challenge your beliefs about life after death if you are a non-believer and make you question whether there's a soul mate out there for everyone. This book will make you cry and will make you believe in true love. Well worth a read.
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on 2 June 2005
This book falls into the catergory of "Romance" - a genre I have always avoided being a bloke who likes Stephen King horrors and James Patterson thrillers, but for some odd reason i was drawn to this book and decided to give it a chance. It sat on my bedside cabinet for about three weeks when I reluctantly picked it up and began to read. Five hours later I closed the book with the biggest smile on my face.
This is an excellent story about love and miracles in a small fishing town and Ben Sherwood has written it with such style and charm and has created characters that you genuinely care about. I know for a fact I will read this book again in the near future after all my family and friends have read it.
Buy it now, male or female, body builder or beautician, buy it and enjoy it and let yourself be drawn into the world of Charlie St Cloud and his journey to enjoy life again, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
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on 10 August 2005
This book has become one of my favourite books of all time- I was gripped from the very first page and couldn't put it down. It's a story about a man whose brother, because of him, died in a car crash. For this reason he cannot let go and is unable to move on. Then he meets a lady called Tess and he has to then choose between death and life...to hold on to what he has now or to let go of everything that is familiar to him.
Sure this book is sometimes predictable but it's still a good and meaningful read!! I would recommend this book to those who like books with a bit of romance and adventure, and who believe in miracles.
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on 19 July 2005
For anyone who has ever lost a close relative, this story really gives you a feel-good factor. The mysteries of life and beyond are gently introduced in a natural and feesable way. I'm not a geat reader at all, but found it to be a book that I wish was twice the length because it made me feel warm and loved by family who are now in a differnt world... but still watching me......
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on 23 June 2010
What a genuinely wonderful book. I'm not going to summarise it as that's been done already, but I will add in my agreement that this is a truly heartwarming, lovely read.

The characters are well developed, the setting one to pique the readers interest. Whilst the plot is fairly simple in itself, it really works. This novel put me in mind of 'Lovely Bones,' 'Just like heaven' and 'Diving for clouds,' so if you're a fan of any of those, then this is sure to be another one you'll enjoy. There's just the right balance of whimsy, romance and mystery.

I would love to see this book made into a film. If it's done correctly its bound to be a hit- but in the meantime, beg, borrow or hunt yourself out a copy, sit back and enjoy.
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on 18 February 2013
I'd picked this to read as I'd recently watched the movie which I quite enjoyed. Normally, I'd have read the book first and then picked the movie to bits afterwards with all the changes and differences that tends to follow so this was a new experience for me :)

This is a charming, moving tear jerker of a book spanning the romance, fantasy and paranormal genres. Because of his near death experience Charlie is able to continue his relationship with Sam everyday at sundown and because of the deep bond between them neither brother wants to miss a day and let go. It's a really nicely written story of love, friendship and hope with a good twist.

When Charlie meets Tess, it's the first time Charlie considers missing his meeting with Sam, but then Sam and Tess meet and everything works out. Without wanting to give the twist away I was a bit unsure about the physical relationship between Charlie and Tess, it feels a little weird but you'll have to read it or watch it to find out why. Suspend your disbelief...unless you believe in ghosts and the afterlife.

This is an easy read, however there were some words tucked in there that I'd never heard before, such as diaphanous, quietus and careening. Diaphanous sounds angelic and mysterious, I'm off to Google now.

There are a few differences between the book and the movie, in particular Charlie and Sam's ages. Charlie and Sam not big boaters in the book yet in the movie they're out winning a race in the opening scenes. Mum's occupation is different and it's Charlie's car in the movie but 'borrowed' in the book. Not deal breaker changes but you do wonder why they producers/directors change things that already work...just saying...who am I?!

The Afterword by Florio and believing in miracles was a really touching finish. Read this if you like romantic stories with a twist, such as The Time Traveller's Wife and anything by Nicholas Sparks :)
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