THE PROMISE OF STARDUST by Priscille Sibley was read for the Monthly Key Word Challenge 2013 (December - key word star).
From the book flap:
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.
What a gut-wrenching book. A book that made me think. Elle made the decision as a teenager to not want to be kept alive by artificial means after watching her mother die a long, painful death. Now, Elle is brain-dead, but pregnant. She is in no pain and is completely unaware of happenings within or around her. Is it right to keep her on life-support for the sake of the baby, a baby she desperately wanted but will never see or hold? Elle had always said she would do anything to have a child. But is this asking too much?
This becomes an ethical decision, a legal decision, a medical decision. Nothing is cut and dry in this case. At times I felt Matt was doing the right thing, at other times I wasn't so sure. Did Matt really know what Elle would have wanted?
This book will stay with me for a long time.