Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
“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.
Jo 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 website anymore?
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.”
I initially glossed over this book because I wasn’t sure about the description but then I read a bunch of amazing review for it from my reading buddies and I had to see what it was all about.
This is such an example of not judging a book by its cover because it was so much more than I was expecting. I will admit, I don’t read books that are sci-fi or fantasy, EVER and I totally threw this one into that category and moved right along. One of the most wonderful things about being a part of the online reading community is the ability to be inspired to try books that are out of my comfort zone.
The gorgeous storytelling and amazing relationships in this book were the highlights of this book for me and I cannot believe this is Vanderah’s debut novel! While this book did have a paranormal aspect, that really wasn’t what stood out for me as the reader. The story of friendship, connection, and healing are so powerful and I am so happy I gave this one a chance.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.