Blimey Dear Charlie was a heck of an emotional read. Seriously. Chocolate required – I give you fair warning.
The utter horror that encompasses a school shooting has been fictionalised a fair bit, Dear Charlie though I found gave it a particular resonance. Focusing as it did not on the shooters, or the mother of, or the victims families but on the sibling left behind who is supposed to what? Hate his brother now? Call him a monster? Sam is facing that having lost so much and through his writings to Charlie we feel every moment.
Sam faces himself as much as he does Charlie within the narrative, a new school, a new attempt to make friends in an atmosphere that finds him vilified and lashed out at for the most part. A bunch of misfit students might be his starting point but the press hover, his parents are falling apart and there is no easy road back from this tragedy.
It is utterly gripping considering this is not a thriller, I was completely involved immediately with Sams struggle to understand, to come to some acceptance. The writing is beautifully done and the layers of grief that you find are heartbreaking. A media storm is one thing but an internal storm is quite another, Sam has both and then some.
Completely believable, occasionally beautiful, always compelling, Dear Charlie will stay with you for a long time after reading it. Batten down the hatches and read this – it will touch your soul.