Title: Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Author: Glendy Vanderah
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: March 1, 2019
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "After the loss of her
mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to
her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to
prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself
into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted
by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin
barefoot and covered in bruises.
The girl calls herself Ursa, and
she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles.
With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to
let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.
enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the
mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together,
the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but
understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her
presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s
Though the three have formed an incredible bond,
they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end
and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in.
When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will
be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars."
My Two Cents:
In "Where the Forest Meets the Stars," all Jo wants is peace and quiet to continue her field study of birds after a harrowing fight with cancer at a very young age. A cabin in the woods seems like the perfect place to hide away from the world. When a strange lost little girl named Ursa finds Jo and comes to stay, Jo's world will be turned upside down. Not only does she find an unbreakable bond with Ursa but she'll share that bond with Gabe, a young man fighting his own demons and living his own isolation. This story will break your heart and enthrall you! This debut is a powerhouse!
I am such a sucker for damaged characters. Each of our main characters is damaged in a different way. Jo is still trying to figure her way through the world. Gabe is happy with his small corner. Ursa is hiding a past that could have broken a weaker person easily. I loved seeing these three characters together. They can't help but to be drawn to each other and each one seems to bring out the best in the others. I loved seeing how their relationships grew and changed with each other throughout the book. Their relationships are warm and real. I especially liked seeing how much Jo and Gabe lift Ursa up.
I'm also a sucker for books that ask you to suspend your disbelief in a real way. Ursa's backstory had me guessing throughout the book. I don't want to give anything away but her back story definitely requires the suspense of disbelief. The juxtaposition of a guise of fantasy against characters dealing with really difficult things was so good. I loved this mix and I loved how the author did a good job of keeping the guise going so that you want to keep wanting to read.
This was a really good debut and I'm excited to see what the future holds for Vanderah!
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