Those who read Charly will definitely want to read this novel and find out what happens to Sam, Charly's husband. How does he cope with being a single father? How does he come to terms with re-entry into the single life pressures of family and church? Find out in this gripping novel.
The Story Behind Sam (1981)
My novel “Sam” was written as a sequel to my first novel “Charly” as an attempt to answer the question, “What happened to Sam after Charly died?”
Most readers would rather have had Sam die than Charly because she was fun, unpredictable and charming. Sam, not so much.
My challenge as a writer was how could Sam ever fall in love with anyone after being married to Charly?
The novel begins with Sam at a park with a model airplane he has worked on constructing for the past week. As soon as he gets it flying, he has it go straight up and then dives it straight down where it crashes into the ground. A boy who comes with his friends every week to see this disaster, asks “Why do you spend so much time building something then come out and wreck it?”
He answers, “Nothing in life is permanent. Planes are no different.”
He does this every week.
Eventually Sam is called to be a young single adult representative for his ward. That allows him to serve others which is a great help to him.
Just before a monthly stake single-adult committee meeting, Sam is listening to the end of a baseball game. A stake clerk comes and announces that the member of the high council over young adults cannot attend the meeting because of a family crisis. Sam doesn’t want to start the meeting until the game is over. But Lara, a new member of the committee, wants them to start on time. “If we can’t set a good example for promptness as a stake committee, how can we expect the same from the wards?” Lara asks.
The radio announcer says, “Now as we resume the game, the count is three balls, two strikes, the bases loaded. Here’s the windup and the pitch.”
At that instant Lara turns off the radio.
Sam and another guy dive to turn the radio back on, but they end up knocking it off the table and causing the batteries to fall out.
Sam falls to his knees and frantically begins stuffing the batteries inside, but one battery is missing. Sam crawls under the table to find it.
Lara ends up under the table trying to help him.
It’s Charly!he thinks. Who else would be crazy enough to be under a high council table with me?
Lara finds the missing battery and gives it to him. Sam continues to stare at her.
“Are you gong to turn it on now?” she asks.
“You mean my charm?” he asks with a big grin.
By the time they turn on the radio, the game is over and they don’t even know the final score.
Sam is still grinning at her. She smiles back politely and leaves him under the table.
Sam crawls out, stands up, and finds himself again staring at her.
She says, “Well, I guess we can get started on our meeting now, can’t we?” Lara asks.
Oh rats, he thinks, she’s efficient.
These two begin a long and often awkward courtship. Lara is not Charly, but it turns out she’s just what he and his son Adam need.
What a great follow up to the classic Charly. I read this decades ago, and loved it just as much then as I do now. Heartwrenching and humorous all in one.
This is a good read for anyone wanting to read a good story.
Sam's character definitely is more angry in this book, but I guess it's understandable. But it is good to see how he's able to look at his life and see the changes that need to be made.
I was a little bit sad with the way the character Sam developed. He became so angry and not himself in this book. He was not the same guy from Charly, but other than that I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who has already read Charly.