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The Promise of Stardust

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  11,553 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews
Filled with grace, sensitivity and compassion, The Promise of Stardust is an emotionally resonant and thought-provoking tale that raises profound questions about life and death, faith and medicine, and illuminates the power of love to divide and heal a family in the wake of unexpected tragedy

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, s
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  11,553 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews

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Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then you read a book that reminds you why you love to read. Why you stay up late, lose sleep, and with even more poignancy, why you shed tears. Yes, even those who don’t cry.

The Promise of Stardust is that book.

The author, a newcomer to the writing scene wove more than a story when she penned this novel. She placed words and scenes so skillfully into place that readers will not be aware of the silken web which will capture their hearts.

From the very beginning—the heartbreaking beg
Larry H
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Here's a book that will make you think, and make you want to discuss it with others.

Matt Beaulieu has known his wife, Elle, since right after she was born when he was two, as their families were close friends. He's loved her since he was 17 and she was 15, and although they weathered many challenges to their relationship (there were years they barely spoke), they finally had everything they've always wanted—except a healthy baby.

One day everything changes. Elle sustains a severe brain injur
Rachel Kahler
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book definitely got mixed reviews from our all-female book club. About half loved the book and about half really found it painful. I was in the painful group.

One thing I will give Ms. Sibley, she can write and she knows how to tug your heartstrings. However, I feel that the latter talent far overshadowed the former in this book. This book seemed specifically designed to make me cry every other page. I felt worn out by the story, which switches back and forth between the present tragedy and
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
I was given a wonderful opportunity (by and William Morrow books - thank you!) to read and review this book.

I was immediately drawn into this book after reading just the first few pages. It reminded me a lot of a Jodi Picoult book: Lone Wolf + The Pact = The Promise of Stardust.

It's a love story like none you'll ever read with hope and despair. A young couple working against the odds of their age finally break-up and go their separate ways but when times heals the pain and they
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
The promise of Stardust by Priscilla Sibley is a story of of complex and moral decisions Matt Beaulieu is faced with when his beautiful wife Elle suffers a brain injury after falling off a ladder.

This is one of those novels right from the word go sets out to emotionally pull the reader in with its challenging and heartbreaking topic on " a patients right to die with dignity" The story is told with sensitivity and compassion and I think a lot of readers will have their emotions tweeted with this
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Love story (and yes it is an amazing love story) told from husband's point of view. I do love his character but he comes across almost feminine in the storytelling. Not that he is a feminine kind of guy..He is not. The author just made it feel like your best girl friend was telling the story. That doesn't make alot of sense. Lol- so I guess you need to read the book to see what I am babbling about.

You do become very attached to these characters. I thought I knew my stand on the subject but afte
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carol by: Publisher, William Morrow Paperbacks
Shelves: debut, fiction
My sincere thanks go out to William Morrow Paperbacks who provided the e-galley of The Promise of Stardust due to be published in Feb. 2013.

One of the the things I always note in a book is the opening chapter. Some tickle you with promise, others might confuse, purposely or not and some grab your attention immediately. The Promise of Stardust has one of the most capturing first chapters I have read in a long time.

The Promise of Stardust wrings the moral, legal, and ethical questions of life and
Vicki Beck
Sep 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kylie H
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is quite an emotionally turbulent book about death and letting go. Matt is a neurosurgeon married to a brilliant astrophysicist. They appear to have it all except the one thing that they want, a child. Elle has had many miscarriages the last one almost killing her.
The book deals with many issues, euthanasia, abortion and a whole minefield of ethical issues. This is made more complicated by Matt's struggle to separate his professional self from his personal feelings. When Elle has a freak ac
Robin Hill
I bought this book ages ago based on Maryse (from Maryse's Book Blog) likening it to Suanne Laqueur (specifically The Fish Tales) and Taylor Jenkins Reid, but because I listened to it, rather than read it, I can't confirm. Still, I'm really glad she made the comparison because I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise.

The audio was good but not great. The voice the male narrator used for the women (mostly his mother) could be grating. Had it been a romance, I would have nixed the audio and
Sarah Swann
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was great! It really makes you question your beliefs and what you would do in this situation. The love story between Elle and Matt was great as well. Really enjoyed it!
Nov 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, contemporary
Well, that was boring. Here I was thinking I'd be reading about a controversial hot topic, and instead I get some sooky neurosurgeon mooning around and no meaningful exploration of that hot topic at all. Literature it is not, but at least Jodi Picoult actually delivers on her promise to explore issues.

The debate in this book centres on a woman being kept on life support, when there is no chance of recovery, against wishes she clearly expressed when alive. Adding to that debate is that the woman
Raquel Valldeperas
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book Club read for August


This book.

Thought provoking.

I'll write a full review once we discuss it in book club.


It's not that often that a book makes me cry; or anything makes me cry, really. I'm not a very emotional person in general. But this book? It broke. my. heart.

It starts off quick, throwing us into the lives of Matt and his family as they deal with the decision to pull the plug on Matt's wife, Elle. Living on life support
Connie G
Elle is in the ICU, brain-dead after a terrible fall, and her neurosurgeon husband Matt must make a decision about removing her from life support. Then the medical staff gets the lab report that Elle is pregnant. The couple had been through the disappointment of many miscarriages, and Matt feels that Elle would want to be kept alive for the baby's sake. But Matt's mother has an old advanced directive from Elle stating that she would not want to be on life support, since Elle saw her own mother's ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 This was a tear jerker! Great book. Would make an excellent choice for a book club discussion.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves a well written story
THE PROMISE OF STARDUST is Priscille Sibley’s first novel and I loved it so much that I truly could not put it down. When I finished it at 3 AM, I was sad that it ended and realize it will stay with me for a very long time. Sibley tells a memorable, poignant love story that will keep you turning pages as the twists and turns in the novel move it quickly along. The love between Matt Beaulieu, a neurosurgeon, and Elle McClure, a gifted astronaut, began as children. As next door neighbors, their fa ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
First the ridiculous contrivances: Matt is a neurosurgeon, his wife's condition is one that only his specialty allows him to fully understand; Elle is dying a slow death after a lifetime of fearing and therefore discussing ad nauseam the possibility of slow death; Elle kept a daily diary/journal that conveniently includes her extensive and innermost thoughts about every major (and minor) event in her life.
**some spoilers**
I felt very little connection to these characters. Matt, in my opinion, wa
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Jeesh...don't read the summary. It's most of the book!

I went from really liking this book to just trying to get to the end. The topic is thought provoking from several angles and emotional from all of them, for sure. It's easy to fall in love with Matt and to defend his perspective on the circumstances. I would have loved some insight into Linney's motives and feelings since the plot is Matt v. Linney (and Adam to a lessor extent, but he's a tool and no one cares about his opinion). The real st
T. Rosado
4.5 Stars!

This isn't a book I would normally pick up, but I'm thankful to Robin for inviting me for a buddy read/listen. I really enjoyed the 1st person POV and the writing, in general. It was maddening, moving, and ultimately heartfelt. A great read.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A story of family, love and hope…

This engrossing story is off and running from the start. He’s a neurosurgeon and she’s an astrophysicist/former astronaut/professor. Drs. Matt and Elle Beaulieu are both brilliant and in love. Actually Matt fell in love with Elle at the early age of 2. Neighbors growing up their two families are close, relying on each during the years especially when Elle’s mom was dying of cancer during Elle’s teen years. After some rough years apart but still best friends these
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars - this was supposed to be a gripping novel about medical ethics, morals, legal issues and a crisis that tests the boundaries of human relationships. Unfortunately, it falls short because it turns into melodrama with characters I never developed a liking for and the over-the-top drama that completely defied belief.

Elle Beaulieu is only about 10 weeks pregnant when she falls off a ladder and is declared brain dead. Her husband, neurosurgeon Matt, is devastated but begins a camp
The story begins as Dr. Matt Beaulieu receives a phone call telling him his wife, Elle, had an accident - a tragic accident that has destroyed her brain. Elle, his wife and the girl he'd been in love with since he was seventeen, the girl who he'd loved as his closest friend, had fallen and cracked her head open. She was suffering from a devastating and irreparable brain injury. Even the best neurosurgeon, his friend, and partner, could not fix the damage. Before taking Elle off life support it i ...more
Melissa Railey
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I somehow managed to not see anything on this book anywhere - on any blogs, amazon, goodreads - anywhere. Then, I was in Target and it was their featured book club book. I picked it up and read the back and was intrigued. I enjoy Jodi Picoult books a lot and this sounded like her. I'm very glad I picked it up. Pricelle Sibley doesn't write with all the polish and flair that Picoult does but this was a very well thought out and written story. I loved Matt and his determination to save his and Ell ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Britany by: Ginny Tess
Childhood friends Elle and Matt fall in love. Their families lived next door to each other and essentially these houses were one. It was fated that Elle and Matt would end up together. When Elle was 15, her mom Alice went into a coma and Elle had to watch her father, Hank keep her mother alive, even though she was never going to wake up. It killed Elle and she vowed that she never wanted to go through that experience herself.

Fast forward 20 years later and now Elle had a fall from a ladder and i
Erin Cashman
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up The Promise of Stardust I thought it was about death. It is not. It is about love. How love can both tear families apart and bring them together. It is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching love story, filled with hope. This stunning debut grapples ethical issues in a sensitive and compassionate way, it is never melodramatic or preachy.

Matt has loved his wife Elle since he was two years old. Now they are married, and Elle is pregnant with her first child. When the unthinkable h
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a tear jerking emotional roller coaster! I don't feel like I can write a review that will really do this book justice. It certainly made me really start thinking about some tough subjects that I want to discuss with my husband.
A tragic love story that is going to rip your heartstrings out.
Jessi Nill
May 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Well I read this book for a book club meeting. I was very un-impressed. Although it's an easy read the story did not feel believable. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults and adults
I was given an opportunity (by and William Morrow books) to read and review this book. Thanks for this amazing gift.

Matt and Elle have a wonderful life but it is not without struggle. They first met as infants, became more than friends as teenager and married each other more than a decade later. All that is missing in their life is a baby. But this is not your average "We want a baby" book. Through twists and turns in the story -- twists that will keep you turning the pages as q
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had this book on my shelf for years and to be honest I was afraid to read it 🤷🏻‍♀️
Because of the topic and the warnings from other readers. I've tried to wait for the "right time" 🤦🏻‍♀️ Yeah, let me put it this way, for this emotional and heartbreaking story is always the right time, because you have to read it to appreciate your own life more 💔 ❤
I love it, but I'm afraid it wrecked me beyond repair 😭
This book is unbelievable gripping and emotional from the first page and it didn't slow down t
Barbara White
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Priscille Sibley’s powerful debut novel, The Promise of Stardust, is a compelling and compassionate story about a family torn apart in the wake of tragedy and ethical dilemma. It circles grandiose themes of life and death and has much to fuel book club discussions. And yet, underneath, it’s a beautifully crafted love story, one full of hope.

The book starts with gripping action: Matt Beaulieu, a thirty-something neurosurgeon, is working when he gets the call that his wife is in the E.R. Following
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Priscille Sibley is the author of the debut novel THE PROMISE OF STARDUST (William Morrow, 2013). The book is a love story about a family torn apart by a medical crisis and the ethical dilemma of keeping a pregnant woman with no chance of recovery on life support for months in an attempt to give her unborn baby a chance. Priscille grew up loving the rocky coast of Maine, her family, and babies. No ...more

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