Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Promise Of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

5 Star

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. 

Lydia - 5 Star

A Promise of Stardust really surprised me and I have no idea why. Possibly because I didn’t know much about it before picking it up and it blew me away. Or maybe because I was desperate to read at least four other novels in my to-be-read pile but had to read this one first. But regardless of the reason, I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that I happened to get a chance to read this one. A Promise of Stardust is at once heartbreaking and tender, explosive and thought provoking.

The drama and devastation unfolds immediately from the first page and from there, both a love story and an ethical dilemma unfold. I was heartbroken by the story and moved to tears. You will probably find yourself on one side of the issue or the other and maybe even tottering on the fine line in between. Sibley handles the subject skilfully and with such grace, dignity and sensitivity.

The relationship between Matt and Elle is gradually revealed and woven through the story via flashbacks and I thought this suited the novel well. Narrated by Matt, we see his view of their relationship and the situation and I found this a refreshing change as I read so many novels from women’s perspectives. I loved that their relationship isn’t perfect and how it felt so real. It’s gritty and messy and complicated - as most relationships are. I also loved that both their relationship and Elle herself weren’t glorified and that she wasn’t portrayed as a saint in light of the accident.

There was one thing that I did find a bit aggravating from time to time and that was some repetition that occurred throughout. I’ve been able to forgive it slightly as I’m sure it is something that occurs in extreme situations and is probably realistic with how life actually is at times. But it did grate somewhat, particularly the nature of the statement. I got it already, I thought, and didn’t love that it was harped on so much.

The Promise of Stardust makes you think. It will have you desperate to hug your loved ones and not take them for granted. You’ll want to get your affairs in order and have conversations. This is a fabulous read for anyone looking for something a bit deeper than the standard chick lit fare. Although I don’t read much of either, all I could think while reading was that this novel seemed a perfect blend of Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks and I believe fans of either will enjoy this one.

Thank you to HarperCollins for our review copy! All opinions are our own.
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