Reading Matters

Hospice nurse has patients write letters to loved ones

Rowan Coleman
Rowan Coleman London Daily Lifestyle

OK. I’m a bit suspicious of a woman who says about herself that she wants to learn to bake but does not have time to iron. (It’s my belief that one can always make time for ironing.)

Nevertheless, you have to hand it to Rowan Coleman of Hertfordshire, England, who has five children, including twin toddlers and has published 11 novels (including “The Accidental Mother”), and now this most recent, “We Are All Made of Stars.”

Here’s the premise of the new one: Stella, a hospice nurse, who only works nights (because her husband returned from Afghanistan “cold, distant, and shattered by painful memories he refuses to share”) helps her dying patients write letters to their loved ones, letters she promises to mail after they’re gone.

But what happens when Grace writes a confession to the son she abandoned years ago? Stella knows that the only way that Grace will receive redemption is if that son reads the letter before she dies. The rule, however, says Stella must wait – or else she risks tampering “not only with Grace’s wishes but (with) fate.”

I’ve dipped into the letters in the book, and they’ll rip at your heart. However, Kirkus promises, “A tear-jerking but ultimately uplifting story.”

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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