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The Promise of Stardust: A Novel Paperback – February 5, 2013
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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
“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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There's been a lot of discussion about death with dignity when someone is disabled due to the new Me Before You movie. This is a different take on that situation. Elle has no brain activity after a fall, and when Matt finds out she's pregnant, all hell breaks loose because his decision to terminate life support is much more complicated. EVERYBODY including Elle's ex wants a say in whether she should be allowed to live or die.
Elle's expressed wish was not to be kept alive indefinitely since she had watched her mother die of breast cancer when she was a teenager. But she had never considered the possibility of being pregnant when a decision like this had to be made. Several miscarriages/pregnancy losses had made Matt think of what Elle would do for that child. The answer he came up with was: ANYTHING.
Oh, so heartbreaking. Everybody was trying to do the right thing for Elle. The question was what the right thing would and should be.
I do read many many books in a week and lots of them have an impact on me, but this one was different. Maybe, because I am a nurse, former ICU/ER, maybe because I had a child, who at age 3 who was determined to have no viable brain activity, after succumbing to a virulent pneumonia, and I had some excruciating decisions to make.
Ms. Sibley portrayed the characters with such uniqueness, personality and different ways to show and feel love. All were different, but the interplay between all of them was exquisite and credible. This book makes you think about life, its value and how to make the most of it.
Thank you, Ms. Sibley for one of the best books I have ever read.