The Stars That Govern Us

The Stars That Govern Us

It is the stars,
The stars above us, govern our conditions.
―William Shakespeare, King Lear
A gifted young surgeon. One of the Twentieth Century’s boldest inventions. And the unconquerable, fragile, and amazing human heart.
As one of just two dozen teams worldwide performing congenital heart surgeries in the middle 1950s, Alec Serafeim and his best friend, Pete O’Neill, are pioneers, doing what was until recently deemed impossible. However, while Pete is satisfied with all they’ve accomplished, Alec aches to do more. Eager to save more children, he also yearns to be remembered for something other than his mental breakdown ten years earlier.
Alec’s chance arrives when he uncovers an opportunity to join the race to perform Australia’s first open-heart surgery using a heart-lung machine. With a primitive machine cobbled together in the hospital basement, Alec and Pete are longshots in the competition. But Alec is so desperate to help sick children and to succeed that he charges ahead, operating on a gravely ill child despite Pete’s opposition.
But the heart, for all its strength, is a fragile organ. And when Alec meets with catastrophe in the theater, his heart is shattered. With sick children’s lives hanging in the balance, as well as his career as a surgeon, Alec must face his insecurities as a man and surgeon—if he hopes to ever finish what he started.
Set against the historical backdrop of the ambitious mission to construct a machine to replace the heart during surgery, The Stars That Govern Us is a moving historical and literary novel about friendship, coping with mental illness, and finding the courage to use our gifts to help others.
The Stars That Govern Us is an #ownvoices novel because it features a character with a mood disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, and the author also has a mood disorder and GAD.
Learn more about the science and medicine behind the novel!