06 May 2015

Review: We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman


We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
Expected Publication: 21 May 2015 by Ebury Press

Pages: 400

Genre/s: Contemporary, Adult

Source:
Publisher for review

Find it: Goodreads ~ Amazon

Synopsis

What if you had just one chance, one letter you could leave behind for the person you love? What would you write?


Stella Carey has good reason to only work nights at the hospice where she is a nurse. Married to a war veteran who has returned from Afghanistan brutally injured, Stella leaves the house each night as Vincent locks himself away, unable to sleep due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During her nights at the hospice, Stella writes letters for her patients, detailing their final wishes, thoughts and feelings – from how to use a washing machine, to advice on how to be a good parent – and posts them after their death.

That is until Stella writes one letter that she feels compelled to deliver in time, to give her patient one final chance of redemption...


My Thoughts

If you ask me what my favourite movie is, I will immediately answer ‘Love, Actually’. I’ve seen it at least a dozen times, and it always leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy. So saying that We Are All Made of Stars left me feeling that way, when it’s a book about a woman who works in a hospice, writing final letters for her dying patients whilst her marriage falls apart, sounds a little strange, as they don’t seem that similar.

We Are All Made of Stars is one of those books – the kind that you go into with not huge expectations, and suddenly, somewhere along the way you find yourself thinking about it every moment that you aren’t reading it, and when you are reading it, you go back over certain passages again and again to squeeze out the maximum amount of emotion.

Although the synopsis only mentions Stella’s story, the book revolves around three main characters, Stella, Hugh and Hope and their individual but linked stories. Stella is struggling in her marriage to Vincent, injured in Afghanistan, Hugh is isolated and lonely but not able to admit it to himself, and Hope is a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis who spends her life hiding away from the world.

The writing is beautiful, full of profound moments and thoughts, but at the same time the characters feel like real people, and their relationships are awkward, fragile and they don’t always know what to do, or how to handle the situations they find themselves in. Coupled with the funny, heartbreaking, mysterious letters that separate the changes of perspective, I was completely hooked.

It’s been a long time since I was so emotionally invested in a book, and it’s definitely one I recommend to anyone that enjoys a good, moving story with characters that are very easy to care about.

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