Synopsis and Details:
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.
Genres: Contemporary, Literary Fiction | Release Date: March 01, 2019 | Publisher: Lake Union Publishing | Length: 332 pages | ISBN: 978-1542040068 | ASIN: B07CWSPSMX | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Review with Rating:
I can’t even remember what it was that prompted me to buy a copy of Where the Forest Meets the Stars?! I am thinking I saw someone recommend it and grabbed it with a gift card of some sort. Then it sat on my bookshelf for far longer than it should have. One day, I picked it up and there was a magical moment where I was swept away with all that was taking place within its covers. It was a feeling that left me spellbound.
There absolutely was a magical quality to this story that lends itself more to science fiction than fantasy but it was magical regardless. What a delightful feeling to vacillate between wondering if Ursa was truly from the stars, as she proclaimed herself to be, or if she was a child who had lost her way. Her initial interaction with Joanna was one that intrigued me. To say that Ursa was not like other children would be an understatement.
Joanna is a character who grows on you and I really felt her choices as she was making them. I felt like I too weighed in on her feelings and choices wondering if that is also what I would do in her predicament. There was much to unpack with not only her but with her surly neighbor, Gabriel Nash, as well. When Gabriel came on the scene I was not as drawn to him as I was to Joanna but he did engage my curiosity. Now I can say that I love both him and Joanna equally!
I really think that together Joanna and Gabriel were a magic all their own. They were the perfect push-pull opposites that each of them needed and the way they came together for Ursa was touching and oh so, you guessed it, magical. Where the Forest Meets the Stars was such a great book! I wanted to clutch it to my chest after reading it and hold it there. It was emotionally evocative for me and I am absolutely looking forward to trying out another novel from this Author to see if they can evoke the same sense of enjoyment and appreciation as I had with this story.
About the Author:
Glendy Vanderah worked as an endangered bird specialist in Illinois before she became a writer. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in rural Florida with her husband and as many birds, butterflies, and wildflowers as she can lure to her land. Where the Forest Meets the Stars was her debut novel.