Review: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah


Release date: March 1, 2019

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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. 

When my publicist buddy Ashley sent me this and said, you were this first person I thought of when I finished this one, it’s right up your alley and is very similar to Catherine Ryan Hyde I had a feeling I was in for a treat! Man was she ever right, I was totally charmed by this one it’s such an unusual and gorgeous read.
I adore books about unlikely friendships and the sudden bond that develops between Jo and Ursa was the type that I like most of all. Jo is a broken woman, she battled breast cancer at a very young age and has isolated herself from the outside world. She’s an ornithologist making it very easy to live a secluded life and the last thing she wants to deal with is a young girl. Ursa is the type of character that grabs your attention and your heart instantly, she’s such a strange child, but she’s precocious as well and she wiggled her way into my heart just as fast as she got into Jo’s. These two were both incredibly well developed, very deep and complex and extremely fascinating, especially Ursa. I was dying to hear her full story because the story she shares with Jo was so out there and I read this one fast because I was so intrigued.
This had such a magical feel to it, both because of Ursa’s individuality but also because Vanderah has bewitching writing style. I absolutely loved the meaning behind this, it was about the bonds of love, second chances and most importantly the power of keeping hope alive.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars in three words: Enchanting, Insightful and Extraordinary.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

5 thoughts on “Review: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

  1. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    Hey lady! How the heck are you?!?

    While scrolling through all your reviews, the cover for this one of course caught my eye. It is absolutely stunning!

    This book sounds right up my alley. Have you ever read The One-in-a-Million Boy or A Man Called Ove? I feel like this book may have similar vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beckie Hubley says:

    I went into this with zero idea what it was about. I accidentally downloaded it on kindle. I actually thought it was fantasy and the girl was really an alien. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but kept reading because it was so beautifully written. I read it all in one go….couldn’t put it down

    Liked by 1 person

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