The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

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Matt Beaulieu and Elle McClure were deeply in love with one another and trying desperately to have a baby when she had an accident that put her on life support. Her wish was to be laid to rest, not to be kept alive on machines if there was no hope of recovery, and Matt was ready to follow her wishes…Until he learned that within his wife’s broken body was a baby, holding on for life-and he is ready to fight with all that he has for that baby’s life. But the legal system has never seen this kind of case before, and his wife’s legal paperwork regarding the issue means that suddenly a great many political issues are coming into play.

Pro-Lifers are lined up in front of the hospital, protesting the pulling of Elle’s life support while she carries an unborn child, Pro-Choicers are claiming that using Elle’s body against her legal wishes, to keep the baby alive, is wrong. A media circus hovers around Matt, and all he wants is to do what he knows Elle would want-keep the baby alive no matter what it takes.

Keep the tissue nearby if you want to brave this novel, which delves into places that most of us would prefer not to think about…Long, drawn out deaths, how we remember our loved ones and how we would want to be remembered after we died, and the horror of a world that can try to tell  you to pull the plug on your wife and unborn child because of a legal form.

Readers who enjoyed What You Wish For, by Kerry Reichs, which addressed the controversial topic of parenting and the politics of test tube babies and non-traditional approaches to having children, will likely find The Promise of Stardust, by Priscille Sibley, equally riveting. This reviewer went through half a box of tissues, however, so you’ve been warned!

What You Wish For by Kerry Reichs

Wyatt, Dimple, Eva and Maryn are all at a crossroads. To have a baby or to not have a baby.

Wyatt is a single man who is tired of waiting for Mrs. Right to come along and start a family. His heart has been broken enough times, and he is ready to adopt a child of his own. But very few adoption agencies will give a “single father” the time of day, and his quest to become a father is twisted into something perverse by many members of the public. But Wyatt won’t back down when all he wants is to become a father. Why do men and women get treated differently when parenthood comes into play?

Dimple is an actress slowly inching past her prime, and she, like Wyatt, feels the urge to have a baby of her own. But her agent and many in the acting business believe that this decision would be career suicide. Is she willing to give up Hollywood to become a mother? She has been waiting for the right guy to come along and now she’s starting to wonder if a man is really necessary-beyond the initial contribution, of course.

Eva is a Hollywood agent representing a hot young starlet who wants to take over Hollywood, and she has just met and begun seeing the man of her dreams. But Eva has a secret that she fears will mean the end of her perfect relationship. Eva doesn’t want kids. Not now, not ever. Will she wind up alone?

Maryn is in the horse shipping business, highly successful and a cancer survivor. Before she began cancer treatment, she and her husband had embryos frozen in the event that her ovaries were rendered useless by the process. Divorced before her cancer was even in remission, Maryn now wants to use those embryos. Her ex-husband and his young new wife aren’t so keen on the idea, however, and she finds herself in a court battle of epic proportions and a media circus that becomes a national issue. Are frozen embryos people? Should they be destroyed when the couple no longer has use for them? Should people be allowed to access unwanted emryos and use them for their own fertility issues?

Having a baby has never been so complicated-and all four characters are about to find themselves twisted into a complicated web as paths cross and relationships form between the most unlikely of people. This book will be particularly interesting for women who have reached or surpassed child-bearing years and faced that question themselves: To be a parent, to not be a parent… And what is YOUR definition of family?

Kerry Reichs has also written Leaving Unknown, The Good Luck Girl, and The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life. If you like Chicklit, you will want to try her out!