15818343Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Matt Beaulieu and Elle McClure have been best friends with one another for their entire lives. Now in their late-thirties, the only thing left to complete their life together would be a child. Tragic circumstances have resulted in the passing of four babies, and Matt has accepted that they may never be parents. After Elle is declared brain dead due to falling off a ladder, Matt learns Elle is pregnant again. Though Elle is gone, her body could be kept alive until the baby is brought to term. All Matt can do is hope for the life of his unborn daughter or son, but other family members believe he should let both Elle and their child go. Believing Elle would want nothing more than for this child to be born, Matt is willing to fight even his own mother in court to see his and Elle’s greatest wish come true.

In The Promise of Stardust, debut author Priscille Sibley proves that Jodi Picoult is not the only author who can so beautifully and heartbreakingly write about ethical dilemmas that no one should ever be forced to face. With a background as a NICU nurse, Sibley patiently and clearly explains complicated medical terms for the reader; I found it easy to follow along in those early pages set in the hospital after Elle’s accident.

The Promise of Stardust is narrated by Matt, and each chapter represents one of the progressing days after Elle’s accident. Every so often, a chapter takes the reader back in time to Matt’s and Elle’s childhood, and even their early adulthood. I loved getting to see how Matt and Elle fell in love with each other, especially since Matt is a fairly flawed character. Seeing him through Elle’s eyes made me get behind him; her trust in him helped me believe he could be the husband and co-parent Elle needed in her life.

Right from the very beginning I kept asking myself whether Matt and Elle’s child would live. I loved taking this difficult journey with Matt, as he first accepted the death of his wife and then grew into a fully independent man who discovered the meaning of faith, hope, and love. The Promise of Stardust is a book you’ll want to read in one day–but make sure you have plenty of tissues next to you.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.