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The Promise of Stardust: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062194178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062194176
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sibley’s first novel opens on the aftermath of a tragic accident that leaves brilliant astronaut Elle Beaulieu brain-dead, and it is told from her husband Matt’s point of view. The family is left with a difficult decision when they learn Elle is pregnant. Should she be taken off life support, as her past comments and certain documents seem to suggest, or should she be kept alive to bring the baby to full-term? Before it ends, everyone will have weighed in, from Matt’s mother to pro-life activists. Woven between the novel’s tense scenes of medical and courtroom drama is the backstory of Elle and Matt’s very special relationship. 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. This is a gripping, thoughtful, heart-wrenching, and well-written debut that would be a great discussion vehicle for certain book groups. --Kerri Price

Review

“I read this first novel two times. The first time, I was intrigued. The second time, I felt privileged to share in such an amazing story.” (Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean)

“In The Promise of Stardust Sibley explores an ethical dilemma in a way that might lead you to question your own beliefs. Woven with elegance through a twenty-year love story, the novel takes numerous twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages.” (Catherine McKenzie, Internationally bestselling author of FORGOTTEN)

“Sibley wrestles with the most complex medical ethics in our time and gives us characters who will stay with us long after the last page. She is a skilled story teller.” (Jacqueline Sheehan, New York Times bestselling author of Lost & Found)

“I loved this book. Priscille Sibley manages a delicate and brave balance with this gripping novel.” (Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals)

“Sibley does a wonderful job of exploring a complex and controversial moral issue, skillfully giving both sides of the story…. This is a gripping, thoughtful, heart-wrenching, and well-written debut that would be a great discussion vehicle for certain book groups.” (Booklist)

“The Promise of Stardust is a story about love and sacrifice, conflict and hope. I couldn’t put it down and when I open it next time, I’ll read it more slowly. Highly recommended. A winner!” (--Patricia Harman CNM, author of The Midwife of Hope River)

“There’s nothing like devastating moral quandary to spark reading, and this trade paperback original would be a great book club choice…” (Library Journal)

“A literate and incandescent Nicholas Sparks-like love story complicated by intense moral and ethical questions.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The Promise of Stardust is a riveting story of a family ripped apart by an impossible choice. You will live these characters’ lives like they are your own, and race through the pages of this engrossing, deeply moving novel.” (Kristina Riggle, author of Keepsake)

“Sibley’s debut dissects the ethics of a patient’s right to die with dignity… the journey is heartrending and tragic.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Written very well.
JoS
The author weaves a love story while discussing many ethical and medical issues.
lesleeo
The characters and story were remarkably believable.
Michelle James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Brazier VINE VOICE on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Elle and Matt Beaulieu have been trying to have a baby forever. Childhood sweethearts, they were very much in love. When Elle fell off a ladder, she suffered irreversible brain death. She was left depending upon life support machines. Matt decided that Elle would not want to live that way. In spite of his devastation over her death, he decided he would take her off life support. After all, Elle had watched her mother die a slow, painful death years before, and she had felt that it was inhumane. However, things changed when Matt discovered that Elle was pregnant. He decided to keep her on life support and to try to save the baby. But the decision was not all that easy. Other family members decided to fight him. This book tells their tale.

I was concerned that this book could get into boring court cases and mundane accounts of laws. But I could not put this book down. The author tells the story of Elle and Matt by flashing back and telling the details of their past. It is so tenderly written that it is extremely moving and realistic. The characters are presented with their faults and strengths and are so very real, the reader would swear to have known them. The author strings the reader along, the reader wanting to know more and more. This book is unforgettable!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I knew I had to read The Promise of Stardust when I first read the synopsis. The story of two long-time sweethearts and their struggle with trying to have a baby, and then a personal tragedy that impacts the lives of not only two people, but others around them may sound familiar but here it is written with credibility and poignancy. Matt and Elle have been in love for a very long time and have also been trying to conceive a baby. It has not been easy and the couple have had their share of disappointments in the form of miscarriages. Then Elle has a terrible accident and is pronounced brain dead. Just as Matt decides to take her off life support, he discovers Elle is pregnant and this revelation wreaks havoc on those around Elle. Matt wants to keep her on life support to save their baby, something he feels Elle would have thought right, but other family members do not necessarily subscribe to Matt's point of view.

It was heartbreaking to see a family fractured by one incident, but this story resonated with me because it is believable. We hear cases like this in the news, where those living have to grapple with momentous, life-altering decisions when a loved one is no longer alive in the true sense of the word. What does one do when one's loved one is pronounced brain dead? Then there's the factor of the unborn baby. Does it have the right to life, does the father have the right to decide what happens to the brain dead mother? All of these questions have no simple answers, as is rarely the case in such matters, and I liked how the author wove the various threads of the story together, making for a compelling read. There are so many themes explored in this book, and though it is a sad and tragic story, it is by no means without hope. The themes of family, love, sacrifice, and choice is explored in credible detail, and makes for a riveting read. It also poses some very pertinent questions that can be picked up for discussion among family, friends, book club members, etc.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Much to my surprise, The Promise of Stardust actually made me cry. I started this book with very few expectations. I was convinced that I was about to embark on a story filled with overwrought melodrama, and was just hoping that it would be somewhat believable. Instead, I found a story that grabbed me from the first chapter and refused to let go till the final page. While the story itself might strain the limits of credulity on a couple of occasions, I didn't notice because I was wrapped up in characters that were wonderfully constructed, and relationships that were so authentic that they melted my heart in pretty short order.

The author tells her story at a rapid pace, flawlessly shifting back and forth in time without losing control of a narrative that is filled with unexpected turns and twists that never feel forced. Her observations are keenly insightful and her portrayal of an entire host of powerful emotions is always spot on. The bulk of this story takes place during a short period of time, but it has an epic feel. The romance is powerful and touching, always tempered by just enough realism to make it all the more effective.

Legal issues are at the forefront through most of the story, but the author never allows the courtroom action to take over and dominate the very human story she is telling. More than a story about pro-life, right to life or any of those legal catch phrases, this is a story about family, love, courage and devotion. The writing is top notch and the characters are memorable. I'm glad I read it and look forward to recommending it to all fans of literary and romantic fiction.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amelia Gremelspacher TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This fragment references the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song which is one of my favorites. This story of the beloved wife falling prey to catastrophic brain injury does invoke strong feelings and does bring the reader deeply into the plot. Should this woman who had feared lingering death be kept alive until her baby could be born. She had had a love for the stars and had always made it clear that she regarded a child as nothing less than remains of the stars.

This book missed the mark for me. I have extensive experience in the world of ICU and I think this author is not successful in bringing that reality to the page. And her pregnancy being missed before X-rays and surgery took place is so unlikely. The use of a medical narrator for the shock and foreignness of this extreme medicine gives the story a further distance. Characters told us of their pain, but it didn't translate. The sequences at times were almost manipulative in presenting events. Finally, this book reminds me of a Picoult novel, but not done as well.

Just as his friend warns the young husband, the inter family lawsuit on the health decisions bring out the worst in both sides of the Right to life versus Choice conundrum. That issue ended up annoying me but is likely a realistic part of this book. This author did do a diligent job of considering many points of view. I just didn't engage with the characters as much as I would have expected.
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