Top positive review
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on 22 April 2014
Another Book Club Book - this month's topic was Book-to-Film. I haven't seen the film so really didn't know an awful lot about the story - only what I could glean from the trailer that I'd seen a long time ago. So what I did know when I started reading was that Charlie's brother had died when he was younger and Charlie could still see him every night. And of course that there was a love interest of some description involved along the way.
I'm glad that I never saw the film before reading this (something that rings true nine times out of ten when books are adapted into films) as it meant that I had no expectations as to what was going to happen and I could enjoy the story as it unfolded.
So the story goes something like this.... Charlie and his brother Sam were involved in a car accident where Sam lost his life but Charlie survived after being brought back to life. Following the accident Charlie has the ability see people who have died before finally accepting what has happened to them and deciding to move onto whatever was next for them. He could always spot them as they had a kind of aura about them which made them stand out. As Charlie worked in the local cemetery he was able to help these 'spirits' move on and come to terms/peace with what had happened. It was here that he meets Tess who confronts him and his co-worker, Joe, whilst they were scaring away geese. Sparks fly between the two of them and they agree to go on a date later that night.
I won't add anything further as it would completely spoil the book for anyone who hasn't read it or seen the film. I could see what was going on with Tess early on which was then confirmed by a conversation she had.
This was a wonderful love story on a few different levels. The love that Charlie had for Sam, ultimately keeping him from moving on. The love developing between him and Tess which seems doomed but hopeful in the end. The love that Charlie had for the people that he helped to move on. He had dedicated his life up until this point and in helping them he prevented himself from moving on and living his life to the fullest.
This was wonderfully written and you could feel Charlie's sense of loss and longing regarding Tess and then the pure determination that he had in wanting to help her. It was a bitter sweet moment when he finally let Sam move on - feeling like he had broken his promise but knowing that this was what Sam really needed after all this time.
Reading a book like this really spurs me on to want to watch the film, all the while hoping that they haven't changed too much and spoil the magic that the book contains.