What is the summary for Charlie St. Cloud: A Novel?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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In Charlie St. Cloud: A Novel, also called The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, we learn about the title character in an astounding way.  Although fictional, it is based on a real person in history.  In a small fishing town in New England, Charlie St. Cloud is the one who cuts the grass and manicures around the graves of an old cemetery.  In that cemetery is a very important grave: Sam, Charlie St. Cloud's little brother.

In a tragic car accident, Charlie St. Cloud lived while his brother Sam died.  Now tending Sam's grave, Charlie St. Cloud is given an amazing and miraculous gift: speaking with and interacting with Sam from the spirit world.  Charlie St. Cloud is able to see Sam, to talk with Sam, even to play with Sam. 

Soon Charlie St. Cloud meets Tess Carroll, a woman sailor, and their relationship really tests Charlie.  Charlie has made a promise to Sam to never abandon each other, but now Tess Carroll is falling in love with him.  After a sailing accident, Sam helps Charlie find Tess' body.  She is moved to a hospital where she is in a coma. 

In conclusion, it's important to note that Charlie finally finds the courage to move on from Sam's death by leaving his job at the cemetery and becoming a paramedic.  Meanwhile, Tess finally wakes up from her coma and her relationship with Charlie continues.

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