Monday, March 11, 2013


Story Description: 
HarperCollins|January 28, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-219417-6 
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 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. 
Told with sensitivity and compassion, The Promise of Stardust is an emotionally resonant and thought-provoking tale that raises profound questions about life and death, faith and medicine – and illuminates, with beauty and grace, the power of love to wound…and to heal. 
My Review: 
Matt and Elle had been sweethearts since they were very young children and are very much in love.  Matt is a neurosurgeon and works at the local hospital.  One afternoon he receives a phone call in his office located four blocks from the hospital.  The call is from one of his colleagues, Carl Archer.  He told Matt he needed to come to the hospital immediately as Elle had been in an accident.  His first thought was: “Oh please, don’t let her be dead.”  Matt asked: “Is it serious?”  Carl cleared his throat and responded: “It’s serious.  Come now.  I’ll see you in a few minutes.”  Matt sprinted the four blocks to the hospital and heads straight to the trauma room.  Matt took in the horrible scene before him.  His precious Elle was decked out with a dozen IV bags, pumps, lines of all sorts sprang from her extremities and a ventilator hissed its accordion wheeze as it pumped oxygen.  Elle’s face was white as the bed sheets and dried blood was caked in her beautiful blond hair.  The only indication she was still alive was the tracing across the cardiac monitor.  Her body was rigid and arched, toes were pointed, and her hands were curled under and all this was an indication of severe brain damage.  Matt dropped to his knees knowing whatever happened had devastated her brain.  Elle was only thirty-five-years-old. 
Elle has always feared a slow death and just before doctors are removing life support they discover Elle is pregnant.  There is no certainty that her body could sustain a pregnancy on life support but Matt is a hundred percent positive that Elle would want the baby to have the best chance at survival. 
Linney, Matt’s own mother who loves Elle to pieces and treats her as a daughter believes Matt is blind with denial.  She is positive that Elle would NOT want to be kept alive by artificial means no matter the situation and it’s glaringly clear that Elle is brain dead. 
Matt and Linney each fight for what each believes is right, pitting son against mother.  The result is a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going beyond one family and one single life. 
When I first decided to read this novel I was worried that the story would get bogged down in lengthy, drawn-out, and boring court trials and details.  However, just the opposite was true.  Ms. Sibley tells the story through flashbacks of their past and it works very well.  I couldn’t put the book down until I was done.  The Promise of Stardust would be a perfect selection for a book clubs, so much controversy and so many different aspects and viewpoints would make for hours and hours of great discussion.  This is the kind of book you won’t soon forget.  Very well-done!

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