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.
It is hard to believe that a book that has a central theme of loss can be so life affirming and uplifting but that is exactly what We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman is like.
We Are All Made of Stars centres on three characters: Stella, Hope and Hugh. All three have big life blockers that are either making them deal with loss and death. Stella, married to an ex-soldier who has been wounded whilst on tour, works in a hospice that looks after the dying and the convalescing. She spends her night shifts writing goodbye letters for patients and she spends her days avoiding her own emotional baggage.
Hope is young girl who has spent her life battling with Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic battle that usually comes with an early expiration date. It is at the hospice that she face her on mortality and realises that it is not the illness that will bring on her untimely death but her choice to not live.
Then comes Hugh, a man who has lost both his parents and through this he has kind of lost himself. Life throws him a few unexpected life lines which alter the course of his existence.
Throughout the narratives of these characters we also get to read some of the letters that Stella has helped write for her patients. All of the letters are filled with love: familial love, secret love and romantic love. It makes you wonder if you knew the end was near how would you want your loved ones to remember you? What would you want to tell them?
The concept of this story is wonderful and Rowan Coleman really does give her readers a treat with We Are All Made of Stars. Here characters voices are unique and they complement each other. Her narrative threads are well thought out and do not leave you with questions or with an uncomfortable feeling of ambiguity. Essentially, Coleman gets to the heart of the subject of loss in a way that I have seen some authors struggle to do.
We Are All Made of Stars was a pleasure to read and has joined the high calibre of books that will stay with you for a very long time after you have turned its final page.
We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman is available now.
Follow Rowan Coleman (@rowancoleman) on Twitter.