Matt and Elle, best friends since childhood, are now in their thirties, happily married and trying to conceive a child. But when Elle suffers a fatal accident that leaves her brain-dead, it is discovered that she’s carrying a child, and Matt must decide whether to let her go or allow modern medicine to keep her alive in hopes that she can bring the baby to term. Matt knows that Elle’s biggest fear, something that terrified her and kept her up at night, was the idea of being kept alive by machines. But he also knows that she wanted so desperately to have a child, and that she would have done anything in the world to protect her unborn child. So he must make a difficult decision, one that will land him in court, battling against his own mother for his own child’s life.
This story starts off with a major tragedy and right from the start, the reader can see that it will be an emotional roller coaster. And The Promise of Stardust is definitely that – I couldn’t put the book down, but at the same time my emotions were all over the place while reading it. I went from loving Matt’s mom to hating her, from feeling sorry to Matt to being angry with him, and most of all I felt such deep sadness for this entire family.
The Promise of Stardust is interesting in that it goes back and forth in time, giving the reader a complete picture of Matt and Elle’s love story in parallel to what’s going on with her accident in the present. What I liked about this is that even though Elle’s not much of a character in the present, the reader still really gets to know her throughout the novel. As a result, I completely understood why Matt felt the way he did about the choices he was making AND I completely understood why his mom felt the way she did. It was confusing and almost impossible and I was just a spectator in the whole situation. Ultimately, I was left feeling that Matt was in the right, that he was doing what he knew his wife would have wanted, but I cannot imagine being in that situation and having to make that decision myself.
This book would make a great book club pick because there’s plenty in here to discuss. I would definitely recommend it for that reason. However, The Promise of Stardust reminded me a LOT of Jodi Picoult’s novels, and I know there are many out there who don’t enjoy that style of book, so be warned if you’re in that camp. I did like it, I finished it rather quickly, and was basically captivated the entire time, so I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you enjoy these kinds of books (as I do). Recommended!