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Monday, February 4, 2013

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
Published by William Morrow ISBN 978-0-06-219417-6
Trade paperback, $15.99, 399 pages
Priscille Sibley's debut novel, The Promise of Stardust, will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult's novels. Sibley is a nurse who has worked in neonatal intensive cars units and her experiences have informed this emotional, thought-provoking and hopeful book.

Matt and Ellie are married and have been unsuccessful in their attempts to have a baby, as Ellie has had a few painful, sad miscarriages. Ellie has a tragic accident and is in a coma, brain dead. What Matt discovers at the hospital is that Ellie is pregnant. he must now consider the life of his unborn child in addition to Ellie's.

Matt is a physician, so he understands that Ellie is brain dead, but he also knows in his heart that Ellie would do anything to keep their baby alive. There is an outside chance that they can keep Ellie on life support until their baby can be delivered.

Ellie's mother died when she was a teen, wasting away from cancer in front of her family's eyes. It was a painful, long death, one that forever scarred Ellie. She and Matt were neighbors and in love, and Matt and his family helped Ellie and her father and brother through the horrible time. Ellie swore that if she were ever faced with illness like her mother's, she would not want to suffer.

Not only did Matt have deal with this, he had to do it publicly. His mother Linney, a nurse who was a second mother to Ellie, knew about Ellie's wishes and disagreed with Matt. She believed Ellie's life support should be removed.

The dispute became public, reminiscent of the Terri Shiavo case in Florida years ago. Matt hired a friend from college, a lawyer looking for a test case for a right-to-life issue. Ellie's old boyfriend comes forward with a power of attorney he said Ellie signed naming him. Everyone gets drawn into this, everyone has an opinion.

The Promise of Stardust asks you to question right-to-life and right-to-die issues. Is it so black-and-white or are there shades of grey? It will encourage you to discuss your wishes with your spouse and family.

While the novel takes on a tough issue, it is also a beautiful love story. Matt and Ellie were destined to be together, even though they went through tough times and spent some years apart. Although Ellie is in a coma, we see her through the eyes of others, in her writings and in flashbacks as the story goes back and forth through time.

I had the chance to participate in a Google hangout with Sibley and some other bloggers, and it was a great way to chat with the author and find out where she got the idea for this engrossing, heart-breaking story. Sibley is such an interesting person, I look forward to reading her next book.

This is a book that will make your heart hurt and mind question. I fell in love with Matt and Ellie and their tragic love story.

You can read more about The Promise of Stardust on Sibley's website: http://priscillesibley.com/

rating 4 of 5

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