Monday, March 11, 2013

Julie's Review: The Promise of Stardust

Summary:  Priscille Sibley’s The Promise of Stardust is a haunting and unforgettable debut novel about life and death and love, set against a moral dilemma that may leave you questioning your own beliefs. Matt Beaulieu has loved Elle McClure since he was two years old. Now married and expecting their first child, Elle suffers a fatal accident. To keep the baby alive, Matt goes against his wife’s wishes and keeps his wife on life support. But Matt’s mother thinks that Elle should be euthanized, and she’s ready to fight for what she believes is the right thing. A stunning, compassionate examination of one of the most intricate ethical issues of our time, The Promise of Stardust, will stay with you, long after the last page has been read.

Review: The Promise of Stardust is a love story but it is entwined with the so many ethical and moral subjects, that even though you want to know what happens in the end, you need to read  it slowly to understand the subtleties. It is an interesting, thoughtful, thought provoking, emotional novel. It is one that you could talk about for hours. It is the type of novel that opens up taboo subjects for discussion. It is not an easy book to read. It is a book that made me cry at the end. It is a story that drove a family apart and then brought them back together in the end.

It is about truly knowing what a loved one would want you to do and not because you have a signed piece of paper. It is about mitigating circumstances and fighting for what you believe in and what you know they would ultimately want.

Matt and Elle were destined to be together since the day he held her when she was days old. Their lives together wouldn't always be easy and having a baby was the biggest tribulation they would face together. Well, Elle has an accident and is brain dead but pregnant, Matt's world turns upside down. He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would want him to try and bring this baby to term. Unfortunately, others have documentation that Elle had a living will that would not keep her on life support. We have Matt, his father-in-law, Hank in one corner and Linney, Matt's mom and Elle's brother, Christopher in the other corner.

I was happy that the book didn't turn into a courtroom novel or a novel with a bunch of legal jargon. Some of it is needed so that you understand how Matt's lawyer, Jake, will argue this in front of the job. I loved how Ms. Sibley told the story of Matt and Elle. How she went to their past to show us who they both were and how their love was all encompassing. Theirs wasn't a storybook love, it was real and genuine.

I can only imagine the research time that Ms. Sibley put into this book. It is obvious that she has a lot of medical knowledge and looked into the legal arguments. What she doesn't do it interject how she feels about these subjects. It's not a preachy book.

The Promise of Stardust would make an excellent book club choice, if you think people would read it with an open mind. This is a book that will be passed around in my circle. I can't not recommend it enough.

Final Take: 5/5



Loud Librarian March 12, 2013 at 10:19 AM  

Have you read 'Two Kisses for Maddy'? It's a memoir by Matt Logelin about his life after the death of his wife - who died the day after she gave birth to their child. I've not read 'The Promise of Stardust' but your review made me think of that story.

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