Published by Random House Publishing Group on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Romance, Contemporary
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A dedicated nurse, Stella finds comfort at the hospice where she works the late shift, especially since her husband returned from Afghanistan—cold, distant, and shattered by painful memories he refuses to share. The hospice at night is another world, where the dying receive closure by creating the letters that Stella helps them write. The pages are filled with love and humor, sometimes regret, and, occasionally, even instructions for a perplexed husband on how to run appliances. There’s one rule: The letters are mailed only after the patient has passed. Suddenly Stella is faced with a dilemma: A woman under her care, Grace, has written a confession to the son she abandoned many years before. The letter clearly needs to be read before Grace dies. But if Stella mails it now, she breaks the rule—and risks tampering not only with Grace’s wishes but also with fate. Navigating passion and grief, loyalty and loss, and a marriage threatened by silence and secrets, Stella discovers that letters hold a special power: granting solace, saving memories, nurturing relationships. As the words endure, love redeems.
Rowan Coleman is an author I’ve been reading for years – ever since I read The Accidental Mother, which is still one of my favourite books, ever. It’s amazing to see how Rowan’s books have evolved over the years, too, and she’s definitely moved over into more emotional, heart-hitting novels, and that’s no bad thing because I absolutely loved The Memory Book. It was one of those novels which just completely slays you, and that ending still gets me, even after all this time, so I’ve been longing to read We Are All Made of Stars for so long, you just need to be emotionally ready for a Rowan Coleman book these days!
We Are All Made of Stars was simply amazing. I struggled a little bit to get into it at first, but once I got into the story, once I got to know everyone, I just wanted to absorb it all as quickly as possible. Just the whole idea that Stella works at the hospice where people die (but don’t always) and the fact she writes letters for those who are, sadly, terminal to the ones they love killed me. Not helped by the fact that there were ones written between each chapter and it was like being smacked with a baseball bat repeatedly. Some of those letters were hard to read, because while it may have been fiction, there is probably someone out there who does exactly what Stella does and it’s made even worse when you know her situation, which was awful.
Then there was Hope and Hugh. I liked Hope, as she was close to my age, but seemed much older considering what she’d been through; and Hugh spoke to me as well even if he seemed a bit fuddy-duddy. I actually liked his story. And when they all came together, it just made me sigh in satisfaction, because there’s nothing like a well-crafted story coming together nicely.
I really enjoyed We Are All Made of Stars. And yes, I teared up a time or two, I knew it was going to make me sad, but it also kind of made me feel hopeful. Books like that always do. Though it’s hard to explain why. This was definitely one of the more emotional reads I’ll read this year, and after finishing it I did wonder why it had taken me so long to read, because I just adore Rowan’s books. She is one of the finest writers around, and she can tell a story and leave your heart sore like no author I know, and I can’t wait for her next book. Rest assured, I’ll be reading it as soon as it’s out.