Thursday, 21 May 2015
We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
Publication date: 21 May 2015
Published by Ebury
Purchase from Amazon here
My rating: 5 out of 5 - absolute perfection!!
Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved... Wherever you look, I will be there.
Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.
During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones - some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.
Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…
We Are all Made of Stars is an uplifting and heartfelt novel about life, loss and what happens in between from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book.
Dear Rowan Coleman
I love you! I didn't think you could surpass the brilliance of The Memory Book, but I was wrong! We Are All Made of Stars is beautiful, moving, uplifting and inspirational. These are just four of many many words I could use to describe this masterpiece. I read many books that leave me going 'oh wow, what a great read', but this is a step up from that. This isn't just a story, to me it was so much more than that. It touched me and it feels like a powerful reminder of how important love is. Thank you for sharing this with us.
The characters you have created are wonderful. Stella is just a total inspiration. Her ability to show so much love to others when going through turmoil in her own life is a reminder to me to always stay strong, see the best in everyone, love lots and show love and empathy to others.
People may be wondering why on earth I am writing this review as a letter to you. Aha...you see readers, one of the amazing things that Stella does in her job as a nurse in a hospice is to write letters on behalf of those whose time is coming to an end. These letters are scattered throughout the book and are simply beautiful and touched my heart. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to show and tell people we care about just how much they mean to us. I am a massive fan of letter writing, and someone taking the time to put pen to paper and write their feelings, or sometimes a funny anecdote or memory. Having seen some friends lose those they love recently I have noticed how comforting seeing someone's words on paper can be.
I always envisaged a hospice as a place where people go to die. But this book shows that there is more to a hospice than that. Hope has cystic fibrosis and has gone to the hospice for some rehabilitation before going home. She is a young lady and I found her story very uplifting. The relationship with her best friend is wonderful and will have you rooting for her all the way through.
And I can't not mention Vincent, Stella's husband. Vincent has been injured in the army where he lost a leg. He is having trouble adjusting to this loss and the changes it has bought into his life. He is really at battle with himself and his emotions, and as a reader I felt myself to really absorbed by his and Stella's fight to see whether this is a battle they can win or not.
There is one very special letter that Stella writes which intertwines with one of the characters we meet. The person who wrote it is in their last days and wants to make peace with her past, but is worried that it isn't going to be easy. Stella has to wrestle with the dilemma over whether to intervene and try and help them find peace or to follow the writers wishes. I knew straight away what I wanted her to do!
I am finding it very hard to put into words just how much I loved this book without giving it all away and spoiling it for others. So please forgive me. But it is for me a must read. I read it on kindle and I have pre-ordered a paper copy as well.
Rowan, thank you so much for creating a perfect book, which brings us readers some very wise and touching moments and some fantastic passages which I fully intend to bookmark and read over often. To me this was more than a book with a story, it was a book of inspiration and highlights what makes life count. Life isn't always a bed of roses but those are the times that build our character, show us who cares and that if we fight we can keep going. It could easily become my how to love and live life to the full bible.
I have also become inspired to start letter writing rather than just texting or emailing. We Are Made of Stars has reminded me that life is for living, laughing and loving and I hope to be able to do all three for many years to come!
Thank you Rowan for writing such an amazing book. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.
Thank you to Ebury who kindly provided a copy in return for an honest review.