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The Promise of Stardust: A Novel (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Priscille Sibley

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1682970,815 (4.25)7
Member:ltcl
Title:The Promise of Stardust: A Novel
Authors:Priscille Sibley
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2013), Edition: Original, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley (2013)

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  1. 00
    Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott (chazzard)
    chazzard: Both focus on the ethics of keeping mom alive until unborn baby is old enough to survive, and the effects this has on family.
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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Let me tell you that this controversial novel made an excellent book club selection. Most of the ladies in my book club are conservative so although we loved the story most of us found ourselves frustrated with the situation at hand. Sibley did a wonderful job of creating a story that could easily be ripped from the headlines of today, making you wonder, "What is the right decision?"

Linney had an advanced directive in place indicating she never wanted to be kept on life support if there was no chance for recovery from an illness or accident. She watched her mother die a slow and painful death and did not want to put herself or her loved ones through a similar experience. How could she foresee that she could possibly be pregnant in this exact situation? Would she change her mind about life support if it could save the life of the unborn child that she and Matt have tried so desperately to conceive? These are the questions Matt struggles with as he fights for the life of his unborn child.

As Matt struggles to keep Linney alive long enough to bring their baby into this world, he must confront a new fight against several people who believe the physicians should follow her wishes. This book tugged at the heartstrings page after page as we watch Matt struggle with his decisions. He reads through her many journals that were started before they were even married, looking for clues to what she would actually want.

I don't want to give any more of this novel away as the intensity builds as new legal implications arise with the situation. I did enjoy this novel and you may find it just as enjoyable with themes of love, promises, and a medical lawsuit. I don't hesitate in recommending this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club selection. ( )
  jo-jo | Aug 2, 2014 |
After the marathon reading of this book, (sucked me in and wouldn't let me go until the last page), I felt like I just spent 6 months back and forth in the hospital, sitting by Elle's side and then in the courtroom behind Matt and Jake. I am exhausted and drained. The writing was so superb that it drew such deep emotion, that I wept for the family, as if they were part of mine. The topic is so controversial. I can see all sides and understand how each member is torn by what is the right thing to do. Truly a heartwrenching masterpiece that was needed to be told. ( )
  booklovers2 | Apr 8, 2014 |
Loved it ! A True love story. Loved it ! ( )
  Samqua | Dec 18, 2013 |
I added this book to my ‘to read’ list when I noticed the beautiful cover. I love the starry night sky! Then I read the synopsis and it read like a Jodi Picoult story. I was even more convinced I wanted to read it. Somewhere along the way I lost track of it. And when I noticed it again, I read the reviews and noticed that a lot of people were not saying good things about it. So I set it aside.

Then a few weeks ago, I had a long trip planned and needed to load up my ereader with library books. A lot of my choices were not available, but this one was. So, even though I didn’t expect to like it much, I added it to my iPad, because it cost me nothing to try it and not finish. I’m so glad I did!

Matt is a talented, dedicated neurosurgeon. Elle is a bright, recently retired astronaut. They have known each other since the day Elle was born and loved each other almost as long! One day Matt receives a call from his partner saying he needs to be in ER stat! His beautiful wife has had an accident. When Matt arrives, he realizes there is no hope for her; she is brain dead! He also knows that the only thing that Elle was more afraid of than dying, was NOT dying when her condition was hopeless. So he realizes he will make the choice to have her removed from life support. UNTIL.....he learns she is pregnant! He quickly decides she will be kept alive in order to give the baby a chance to live. That would not be a problem, except that his family, his mother and his brother-in-law, decide that Elle should NOT be on life support; that she has made it clear she did not want to live this way. A legal battle ensues.

There are no ‘bad guys’ in this story. Every character acts as he does because he believes he is doing the right thing, and they all act out of love. But the question is.... what is the right thing to do in this situation. There is a lot to think about as you read and ponder how you would act, and a lot to discuss. The book has a reading group guide at the back. The Promise of Stardust would be a great pick for a book club!

This is the author’s debut novel. I can’t wait to read more from her!

My Rating: ★★★★1/2 4-1/2 Stars ( )
  Time2Read2 | Aug 1, 2013 |
Matt and Elle, childhood friends, highschool sweethearts and long time married couple have faced almost everything in life together, good or bad, they have always had love and friendship to connect them. Lately multiple miscarriages have devastated them and Elle being at a point in her life of wanting a family, can only think about having another baby no matter the risk. Matt on the other hand wants kids but does not want Elle to put her life in danger, so trying again for the 5th time is out of the question. Before the two can even travel the road of battling about it, Elle has a tragic freak accident and sustains massive head trauma putting her in a vegetative state hooked up to life support. Matt has no intention of keeping Elle alive and knows its time to say goodbye to his wife, but when he receives the news that Elle is eight weeks pregnant everything changes in an instant.

The thought of a child, a piece of Elle left behind changes Matt's mind and he decides to keep Elle on life support until the baby is born, knowing that this is what Elle would have wanted, knowing he will have to let her go after but wanting to give the unborn child a chance at life. So he hires an attorney and fights for guardianship over the baby without knowing he would create a storm of controversy in his wake. Others including fellow doctors, family and Matt's own mother do not agree and think he should terminate Elle's life, which in turn would automatically terminate the child's. His mother being Elle's power of attorney over medical decisions (due to Elle's own mother dying) since she was a teenager actually is taking it so seriously that she decides to fight Matt over the issue in court, trying to block his guardianship.

Even with the consequences of ripping the family apart Matt moves forward and an ensuing battle takes place over the right of the unborn child and the right of the mother who lays incompetent in a hospital bed, asking the question of living wills versus a spouses legal right. It also becomes a high profile case and brings the pro-lifers and the women's rights groups out in droves begging the debate on the right to life. Everyone thinks they knew Elle, and in a sense they did, due to her small town fame, but not as well as Matt knew her and over the course of the story he slowly reveals to the reader the layered past of him and Elle's romance, the young teenage love of her at 15 and him 17, the time at college and the times apart, the memories are primarily focused on a woman already dead but we are able to capture her through Matt and see the years before the accident, interlocked with the veracious court battle, media storm and Pro-life versus Pro-choice commentary that riddles the book. Matt feels like he's doing the right thing, even though the entire world seems to be against him, even though he is holding that one last shred of hope, as a brain surgeon himself he knows the possibility for Elle returning whole is gone, but the possibility of that child is not lost and he will fight to save it.

Heartbreaking and grueling issues face Matt's journey and the time spent going through Elle's journals rekindle the beginnings of their relationship and takes our character and us the reader on an unbelievable love story, a coming of age story, a story of loss and a story about life.

The Promise of Stardust was a stunning debut from Sibley, I was very impressed with the writing style and have to hand it to the author for taking on such a controversial social commentary, showing a remarkable viewpoint from the stand of the right to life, and the woman's right to choose. Personally while I shy away from making political or social commentary statements on my blog, I can assure you I stand by and am outspoken on my beliefs when it comes to abortion and the unborn. I would willingly hand over my life for any of my children and would so for my unborn child. Had I been Elle I would have wanted to be kept alive until my child was born. I think that's why I loved this book so much, it made me think about things so relevant to life and death choices. I also loved that the story was told by Matt, the husband left behind, I felt so incredibly connected to him that it made the story personal and the outcomes that much more emotional.

This book does not mess around or pull any punches, it grabs you, smacks you and knocks you down within the first chapter. A book for readers on both sides of the spectrum, one that may even change your view on how you look at the right to life debate. An intense nonstop contemporary ride with the pace and feel of a thriller, riddled with heartbreak and tears. ( )
  Tinasbookreviews | Jul 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Sibley does a wonderful job of exploring a complex and controversial moral issue, skillfully giving both sides of the story. She also draws on her experience as a neonatal intensive-care nurse to make complicated medical procedures interesting and easy to understand.
added by DorsVenabili | editBooklist, Kerri Price (pay site) (Oct 15, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life.  -- Napoleon Bonaparte
Dedication
For Tim, who has given me his heart and the courage to write.  And for Robert, Cole, and Ethan, who have taught me why it is important to never give up.
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Late that night--on our last night--we lay in awe, mesmerized again by the Perseid meteor showers as they transformed stardust into streamers of light.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"After an accident leaves his wife Elle brain dead, Matt Beaulieu, resolving to take her off life support, changes his mind when the doctors discover that she is pregnant - a decision that results in a controversial legal battle with Elle's family." -- from publisher.… (more)

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