Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah


Title: Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Author: Glendy Vanderah
Published: March 2019, Lake Union Publishing
Format: ARC Paperback, 332 pages
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

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.



My thoughts: There are some books you read that you just know are ones that are going to be ones you will never forget, be it for the story itself, for the characters, or for the themes they touch upon. This book is one of those books and it's because of all three reasons, at least for me.

I adored this book...I was immediately captivated right from the start and found myself completely invested in the characters and all that they were going through. These characters - Jo, Ursa and Gabe - are such complex, unique characters and you just want life to finally deal them a good hand. They each have their own demons to deal with and seem to be handling it in their own way, for good or bad. But it's when they come together that seems to be the magic touch. 

This book will capture your heart and put it through the wringer. It takes three damaged souls, and in such a unique way, has them help each other find a way to a happier life. It's not all sunshine and roses, though. There is a bit of heaviness here as we learn just what has gone on in each of their lives, and believe me, you need to know this to fully appreciate each of the characters. But the way this book is written, the way these heavy subjects are woven into the story line, it works. And it's balanced by an equal dose of lightheartedness that will make you smile through the tears that will inevitably come at some point.

I was completely surprised by this book, in a good way! It's one of those books that once you start reading, you just cannot put down. As much as you want to savor your time with these characters, you also want to devour it, to find out what the ultimate resolution is going to be. This book and these characters will definitely be staying with me for a long time...and I am still flabbergasted that this is a debut novel! I cannot wait to see what is in store next for Glendy Vanderah!


***And stay tuned...I'll be posting a #BookGiveaway for this book a little later today!!!

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