Book review: 'The Promise of Stardust' by Priscille Sibley

“The Promise of Stardust” by neonatal intensive care nurse Priscille Sibley is a compelling love story about moral dilemmas, infinite courage and soul-searching ethical questions.
By Peggy Gandy Published: March 10, 2013
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Priscille Sibley is a neonatal intensive care nurse who lives in New Jersey with her husband, three teenage sons and a Wheaton terrier. Sibley's debut novel, “The Promise of Stardust” (William Morrow; $15.99), is a compelling love story about moral dilemmas, infinite courage and soul-searching ethical questions.

The book opens with young astronaut Elle Beaulieu, comatose and brain dead, barely clinging to life as a result of a tragic accident. Before her husband, Matt, can get over the shock and comprehend what has happened to the love of his life, he is forced to make the most important decision of their lives.

Though heartbroken, Matt has one glimmer of hope when he learns Elle is pregnant with a child they had longed for. Keeping her on life support for six months may be the only way to save their unborn child.

Because of close family ties, Matt's mother, Linney, is Elle's godmother and has Elle's medical power of attorney. Elle has always been a firm believer in the importance of the quality of life after watching her mother waste away on life support.

Linney feels she must honor Elle's wishes and remove her from life support. Matt feels obliged to fight for the life of their unborn son, believing this is what Ellie would have wanted had she known the circumstances.

— Peggy Gandy