review: The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley


The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley is the story of astrophysicist Elle and neurosurgeon Matt, high school sweethearts whose love is told in this novel through flashbacks and diary entries. Their lifelong relationship and deep-rooted love for one another is evident, despite 15 lost years due to a careless mistake. They’ve spent the past 4 years making up for the lost time, though, living a beautiful life. Unfortunately, Elle’s continued miscarriages have scared Matt from wanting to try again, although being a mother is Elle’s deepest desire.

When Elle falls off a ladder and is declared brain dead, Matt believes his life is over. But a shocking discovery is made: Elle is 6 weeks pregnant. Matt is determined to keep the baby, despite Elle’s advanced directive that states that she should not be kept alive if she cannot breathe on her own. Matt fights with himself and Elle’s family to keep her alive until the baby can be born.

This story may not seem plausible to you, but it is currently being scrutinized in Fort Worth, Texas. Marlise Munoz was found unconscious by her husband, and the hospital could not revive her. She was found to be 16 weeks pregnant, and the state of Texas has mandated that the hospital keep her alive – despite her husband and her parent’s wishes. Texas law states that a hospital “cannot withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant woman”, even if her next of kin wish otherwise.

When I first heard of the Munoz family’s situation, I was saddened that the state would step in and take away the family’s rights. Then I picked up The Promise of Stardust and my emotions were jostled even more. If you want a realistic glimpse into what that family is going through in Texas, read this. If you want to understand grief and love, read this. If you are one of those people who cannot look away from a car crash or yet another episode of Maury Povich, read this. The drama and intensity is honest and palpable.

Anything at all by Jodi Picoult. Drama, plot twists (though not so severe you need a neck brace for the whiplash), and love.

Recommended for: 
I want my mom to read this. She looooooves People Magazine and the real-life stories of common people as well as celebrities. I think this book would give her a pro-longed (read: longer than a 1-page article) glimpse into the reality behind these difficult made-for-Fox-News situations.

As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life. –Napoleon Bonaparte 

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