Thursday, November 9, 2017

We Are All Made of Stars

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 5:13 PM

Age: Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars

Helen Thinks: I came across this novel when I typed ‘Dementia’ into the search bar of my local library and amongst all the medical journals and textbooks it jumped out at me so I reserved it. And boy, am I glad that I did!

It follows three different characters. Stella; a night nurse at a hospice who writes letters for her dying patients that she delivers once they’ve gone while also dealing with her veteran husband whose home from the war with an amputation and a coldness towards her. Hope; a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis that isn’t dying but is using the hospice as a rehabilitation after nearly not dying. Hugh; a recluse of a historian that lives alone but soon becomes friends with his new neighbour and her son. The main focus of the novel is Stella and her letter writing but we do get to know quite a bit about Hope and Hugh’s life too. I don’t want to give too much away in this summary because Hugh’s involvement with the storyline could be seen as a plot twist that I did see coming but Coleman still wrote it beautifully. Even with the multiple first persons, nothing became confusing or jumbled. It smoothly transitioned from one point of view to the next.

I read all three hundred and odd pages of this novel in one morning. I neglected T.V., housework, I’m pretty sure I cancelled meeting up with my sister all because I was desperate to see how this novel turned out - I’ve even recommended it to my sister and best friend to read! It was simply breathtaking as a novel.

The massive plus for me was after each chapter there was a letter written by Stella for her multitude of patients and it’s intriguing to see who people want to write to when they know death is upon them. Some wrote to their ex-wives, some to siblings confessing childhood secrets, to children that they had become estranged from. It just made me wonder... If I was to die tomorrow, who would I write my last words too? My sister? An ex-boyfriend? The boy I never found the courage to let him know I loved him back?

So thank you to my library for recommending this novel to me and I’m now paying it forward and recommending it to all of you guys to see if you can answer the question the book poses... “What if you had just one chance, one letter you could leave behind for the person you love? What would you write?”


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