The Promise of Stardust (2013)
by Priscille Sibley
Finished Paperback, Read for a TLC Book Tour
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
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A few people always know what they want to do when they grow up. Priscille Sibley knew early on she would become a nurse. And a poet. Later, her love of words developed into a passion for storytelling.
Born and raised in Maine, Priscille has paddled down a few wild rivers, done a little rock climbing, and jumped out of airplanes. She currently lives in New Jersey where she works as a neonatal intensive care nurse and shares her life with her wonderful husband, three tall teenaged sons, and a mischievous Wheaten terrier.
Filled with grace, 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 the power of love to divide and heal a family in the wake of unexpected tragedy.
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 he convinced her to marry him. Now in their late 30s, the deeply devoted couple has everything-except the baby they’ve always wanted.
When an accident leaves Elle brain dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear the thought of life without her, he knows Elle was afraid of only one thing-a slow death. And so, Matt resolves to take her off life support. But Matt changes his mind when they discover Elle’s pregnant. While there are no certainties, the baby might survive if Elle remains on life support. Matt’s mother, Linney, disagrees with his decision. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive on machines. Linney is prepared to fight her son in court-armed with Elle’s living will.
Please note that this is a DNF(did not finish) review. I very. very rarely DNF books, but I will tell you why.
I’m the minority of people who The Promise of Stardust just didn’t connect with. Perhaps it is because for me, there was no ethical grayness on the issue of saving the baby if the mother (who would’ve REALLY wanted a baby anyway) is on life support: “Well, of COURSE they should try save the baby. It is ONLY a few months. If Elle is already “brain dead,” it’s not like she’ll be in pain and she would’ve wanted the baby if she was alive.” I realize that this might be a careless thing to say, especially since I have no experience with having a family member on life support, but the “right” thing to do seemed right in front of me the entire time.
However, even though I was on Matt’s side, I can’t say I cared for him.
The story is from his point of view, so I was hoping to feel sympathetic towards him. Unfortunately, it never happened. He spent most of his time trying to blatantly convince me how angry/depressed/frustrated he was with verbose, uncompelling metaphors that left me bored–and fake, as if he was trying too hard to make me pity him. I wish more of his characterization was left to the imagination. I can tell you are angry, dude. You really don’t have to tell me. He was a flat character. He wasn’t real to me and felt more like a dramatized character formed out of Hollywood’s perception of what a depressed widow should act like. Mope around. Refuse help. Break stuff. *yawn*
I wanted more from Matt’s mother, hoping she would convince me to take her side. But for a woman that was supposed to be a confident nurse, she felt like a weak, clueless old lady.
I was also not a fan of the lawsuit or medical scenes, for the jargon left me befuddled most of the time. I think my confusion made the book seem longer than it was. I need a glossary.
dump the minutiae and get to the point.-Matt (from The Promise of Stardust)
My thoughts exactly.
I did not enjoy The Promise of Stardust as much as I hoped I would, but I’ve read many glowing reviews for it. I suppose I hoped it would be an enlightening, philosophical story about ethics. Or a heartwarming story that would make me shed a few tears. Unfortunately, I was left disengaged and annoyed with the stubborn, flat characters that I couldn’t get past the first hundred pages. I do plan on finishing it up soon to give a well-considered, complete review.
Rating: C (DNF Rating)
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