Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Library Loot ~ March 13-19

The Promise of Stardust ~ by Priscille Sibley, 2013, fiction (Maine), 10/10
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 they wed.  Now in their late thirties, the deeply devoted couple has everything — except the baby they've always wanted.  When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, Matt is devastated.  Though he cannot bear losing her, he knows his wife, a thoughtful and adventurous scientist, feared only one thing — a slow death.  Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant.  Now what was once a clear-cut decision becomes an impossible choice.  Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle.  While there is no certainty her body can sustain the pregnancy, he is sure Elle would want the baby to have a chance.  Linney, Matt's mother, believes her son is blind with denial.  She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation.  Divided by the love they share, driven by principle, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right, and the result is a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going beyond one family and one single life.  This is a thought-provoking tale that raises profound questions about life and death, faith and medicine.
I haven't had a "ten" book in awhile, but this one is definitely a 10/10.  I got it from the library at closing time on Monday, finished reading its 400+ pages on Tuesday, and now I'm writing about it.  I could not put it down.  He's a doctor, she's an astronaut who flew on the Shuttle.
"Once upon a time there was a girl who loved the stars so much she took a ride on a rocket ship..." (p. 399).
"Once upon a time" is the last line, and the first line is about an ending.
"Late that night — on our last night — we lay in awe, mesmerized again by the Perseid meteor showers as they transformed stardust into streamers of light" (p. 1).
What a book!  By page three, I felt a tear slide down my cheek.  I picked up the book from the library and decided to grab a bite to eat while reading this novel.  I couldn't.  This doctor husband had just run four blocks from his office to the hospital, after learning his wife had been in an accident.
"Please, I thought.  Don't let her be dead" (p. 2).
I took the book home to read, flipping back a page to start over.  Reading, reading, into the wee hours, with the book sliding off the bed into the floor when I eventually fell asleep, still trying to read the next paragraph, the next page.  Near the end, I was in tears again.  I remember only one other book that made me cry The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  In the author interview at the back of the book, Priscille Sibley talked about writers evoking emotions and admitted yelling at the characters in a novel by Jodi Picoult.  She went on to say:
"Whenever a writer can get you to shake your fist at a character's stupidity, cry, or laugh, they've pulled off something great" (pp. 8-9 in the P.S. section).
Sibley kept me turning the pages the same way Jodi Picoult does.  I was surprised several times by new insights as I got deeper into the story, and I was completely satisfied with how the book ended.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire @ The Captive Reader and Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages us to share titles of books we’ve checked out of the library.  Add your link any time during the week, and see what others got this week.


Vasilly said...

Wow. This book sounds amazing. Now I want to read it. You wrote a fantastic review.

Linda said...

Wow. Sounds amazing. I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Beth said...

Wow, this book does sound wonderful, Bonnie---I shall definitely request it at my library. Even the title is compelling. It really is so exciting when a book grabs the heart and mind like this one did yours.

Cat said...

I cried my way through The Art of Racing too so this sounds like a book I would also enjoy. I see my library has it on order so I'll be watching out for it.
Happy reading!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

It is such a great feeling when you find books like this. I'd never heard of it before, so thanks for the great review.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Claire, I found it on someone's book blog, but I've forgotten whose. Because it's a new book, I was way down in the list of those requesting it months ago at the library.