The Stars That Govern Us

A gifted young surgeon. One of the twentieth century’s boldest inventions. And the unconquerable, fragile, and amazing human heart.

As one of two dozen teams worldwide performing congenital heart surgeries in the middle 1950s, Alec Serafeim and his best friend, Pete O’Neill, excel in an unforgiving field where the line between life and death is eyelash thin. But while Pete is satisfied with all they have accomplished, Alec aches to do more. Desperate to save more children, he is also determined to be remembered for something other than his mental breakdown ten years earlier.

Alec’s opportunity arrives via a chance to join the race to perform Australia’s first open-heart surgery using total cardiopulmonary bypass. Swept up in the competition, with a heart-lung machine cobbled together in the hospital basement, Alec charges ahead with surgery on a gravely ill child despite Pete’s objections.

But the heart, for all its strength, is a fragile organ. And when events conspire to shatter Alec’s heart, he is left stumbling in darkness. With sick children’s lives hanging in the balance, as well as his future as a surgeon, Alec must find his way back to the light and learn to cope with his fallibility—if he hopes to finish what he started.

Watch the book’s trailer.