Sweet Sorrow

Sweet Sorrow

Series: 15 Fresh starts in fiction

I was utterly absorbed by this wistful novel about first love, coming of age, and Shakespeare, from the author of One Day. 16-year-old Charlie Lewis doesn’t have much to look forward to. He’s struggling in school, his family’s fallen apart, he’s caring for his depressed father, and he can’t see beyond what seems like an endless summer. But then one day he’s out for a bike ride and literally stumbles into a beautiful girl and a local theater production of Romeo and Juliet. When Charlie asks the girl to coffee she gives him an ultimatum: he has to join the production. Charlie doesn’t see himself as “one of those theater kids,” but he can’t say no to Fran—and this decision changes his whole world. Perceptive, bittersweet, and stirring.

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About the Book

From the best-selling author of One Day comes a bittersweet and brilliantly funny coming-of-age tale about the heart-stopping thrill of first love–and how just one summer can forever change a life.


NowOn the verge of marriage and a fresh start, thirty-eight year old Charlie Lewis finds that he can’t stop thinking about the past, and the events of one particular summer.


Then: Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. He’s failing his classes. At home he looks after his depressed father–when surely it should be the other way round–and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.


But when Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.


In order to spend time with Fran, Charlie must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet learned and performed in a theater troupe over the course of a summer.


Now: Charlie can’t go the altar without coming to terms with his relationship with Fran, his friends, and his former self. Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out

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