Sunday, 14 June 2015

Review - We are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

Before reading this absolutely beautiful novel written by the wonderful author that is Rowan Coleman it’s safe to say that I had heard so much about it. Therefore, it was no surprise that when it finally dropped through my letterbox it jumped straight to the top of my TBR pile.

Throughout the duration of the novel we follow the lives of three characters - Stella, Hope and Hugh - who are all linked in so much as they all spend time, as either a worker, patient or visitor, at the Marie Francis Hospice and Rehabilitation Centre. 

Indeed, Stella is one of the night nurses at the centre who is experiencing a number of challenges at home in her marriage to Vincent after he returned from the war in Afghanistan with an injury. During her shifts she sits with her patients and helps them to write letters which, after they have died, she sends to their loved ones. One day she writes a letter for a patient which she feels cannot, and must not, wait until the death of the patient to be delivered to its recipient despite the patient’s wishes. 

Then we have Hope one of the centre’s younger, but by no means youngest patient. With Cystic Fibrosis, Hope has been transferred there from hospital to continue her recovery from an illness. This is a recovery which we are fortunate enough to see her make with the support of not just her family and those who work at the centre but also Ben who has been her best friend from a young age. As the story progresses we see their relationship develop and the pair have many adventures, both good and bad, together.

Finally, there is Hugh who, I think it’s fair to say, has had a life that’s full of ups and downs but who is trying very hard to move onwards and upwards in life. We see him visiting one of the patient’s in the centre, who it turns out he has a very close connection with, after a revelation which leaves him questioning everything he’d previously thought was true. 

I really enjoyed this book. I particularly enjoyed the way that each chapter was dedicated to a different character - either Stella, Hope or Hugh - as I felt it allowed us to connect and feel much closer to each of them than we perhaps would have, had it just been told from the perspective of one of them. The book also included a number of letters that patients had written to their loved ones - some of which were comical and some of which were quite emotional. 

This was one of those books that could quite easily be read in a day or two, I never felt myself getting bored or wishing that it would pick up pace. Rowan’s written a number of other novels and all that’s left to say is that I really hope that this author will continue to write many more for years to come.