Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Review: The Promise Of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 5th February 2013 (1st published Jan 2013)
Pages: 432
Book Source: Own purchase

Synopsis: Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when they wed. Now in their late thirties, the deeply devoted couple has everything—except the baby they've always wanted.

When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear losing her, he knows his wife, a thoughtful and adventurous scientist, feared only one thing—a slow death. Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant. Now what was once a clear-cut decision becomes an impossible choice. Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle. While there is no certainty her body can sustain the pregnancy, he is sure Elle would want the baby to have a chance. Linney, Matt's mother, believes her son is blind with denial. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation.

Divided by the love they share, driven by principle, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right, and the result is a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going beyond one family and one single life.

My Thoughts:
The Promise of Stardust was so intensely emotional there were times I could barely breathe! It's a story of unconditional love and heartbreaking decisions. 

Moral, ethical, medico-legal issues are covered in a blend of harsh reality and sensitivity. These are issues that are inherently divisive and deeply emotive. What's even sadder is that though fiction The Promise of Stardust isn't that far removed from reality ... I'm sure many of you followed Marlise Muñoz recent tragic story, it made the news in Australia and broke my heart.   

As I mentioned in my review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I have firm beliefs in our right to die with dignity but the heartache of premature birth, neonatal death and infertility issues would have me ensuring my advanced health directive covered every possible eventuality. An action that would probably do me very little good in some 12 US states ... 

As heartbreaking as it was I enjoyed the nursing/medical side of the story, the legal ramifications were morbidly fascinating and the flashbacks gave insight to Elle's character and Matt and Elle's love story. It's not a faultless story and it wasn't about agreeing or disagreeing with the decisions and actions of Matt or his mother Linney, for me it was just about sitting with the emotion.  

Advanced health directives, living wills, enduring power of attorney, the importance of updating these documents and letting loved ones know your wishes as the years pass and circumstances change ... all to often our good intentions are put off for another day. 

A stunning, emotionally wrenching, beautifully written debut. Priscille Sibley is an author to watch out for and I keenly await whatever's next.  


Connect with Priscille Sibley






26 comments:

  1. Sounds very emotive Sheree, I remember the details of the Marlise Munoz case, just heartbreaking.

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    1. Oh yes Shelleyrae, a tragic situation you hope never to face. This was highly emotive without being melodramatic!

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  2. I loved this one too and I agree that it is very emotional. I think I read it around the same time that I read Me Before You. It reminded me of something Jodi Picoult would write only better.

    Great review!

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    1. Thanks Christina I enjoyed (not really the right word but you know what I mean) this a lot more than Me Before You.

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  3. Oh boy!! This is def. a MUST READ!!!! Totally reminds me of the story that was recently happening here :(

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    1. yes similar Julie and this was written before Marlise Munoz, so sad.

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  4. I had not heard about this one before, what a shame

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    1. I hadn't either B until I saw it on a blog I follow, just can't remember whose.

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  5. I wanted to read this earlier, but didn't get to it. Now that my daughter is pregnant, I think I will wait. Hearbeat by Elizabeth Scott is a lot like this book.

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    1. yes it's a traumatic read Nise. I read Heartbeat too but for me it didn't really compare.

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  6. Another one for my list - sounds really good!

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  7. Wow. First I loved the cover and then the summary of the story (I hear echoes of Picoult) and then your raving. I think I must get this one. It's such a hard topic. Especially since Jason and I are going in to finalize our wills tomorrow.

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    1. Stacy I can't recommend this one highly enough, and I hear you it reminded me 'again' about some updates I need to get sorted.

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  8. Oh my gods... I need to read this. It sounds fantastic.

    Last year, in one of my fits of depression/obsession- I did my Living Will and made sure that my Advanced Directives and made a binder with all of this information, life insurance policy, Emma's medical records, birth certificates, etc. plus what I want to happen to Emma in the event of my death.

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    1. It's really tough stuff to discuss and actually do and a situation you hope never to find yourself in but I like to think if I'm prepared it won't eventuate! Hope you get to read it Jaime.

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  9. Wow Teddyree, this books sounds like one I simply MUST read. I think I would likewise enjoy the medical and legal side of the story…I'll be able to ask my husband what his thoughts are.

    I recall a legal battle going on when a wife lost her husband to cancer. He had been diagnosed after they had been trying IVF to fall pregnant and she had to battle it out in Court to use his stored sperm after his death. Just tragic. You never know what you would do, but I think if I lost a beloved spouse I would want the child as to me it would be a living part of them here with me.

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    1. Another one to chat about with you Karen ... it's even more hard-hitting when you know of 'real life' similarities.

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  10. I just started reading this book for our book club and I think I had tears in my eyes every time I read it...and I'm still in the beginning pages. I think it's one I am going to rate quite highly also. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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    1. Hope you're going to post your thoughts and would love to know what your book club thought overall. Definitely one to keep tissues close

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  11. I agree with you completely! I read this about a year or more ago, can't remember, but I do remember how emotional it was, and how much I enjoyed reading it. The story stayed with me, a good indicator of how much I liked it. Back blogging again, Rita @ My Home of Books :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting Rita, hard to believe this is Priscille's debut novel! I'll pop over to your blog soon :)

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  12. This is not a book I could read. The sad thing is this is not a "made up" scenario. In the last year alone I have read articles about this exact situation with three separate couples. I think you are right it would not be about right or wrong but the emotion when reading this book. I already know it would be to much for me :(

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    1. oh yes Mandy, I found it difficult emotionally and reading about similar 'realities' has me bawling :(

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  13. Thanks for the review Teddyree…..I just finished reading The Promise of Stardust and I loved it. Very emotional but a nice change from my usual read. I would love for my husband to read it, even though the US legal system is vastly different to ours, I think he would enjoy the legal aspect of the story.

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    1. Karen I'm really glad you read it, I know not everyone can but I can't wait to talk to you about it.

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