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Where the Forest Meets the Stars Paperback – March 1 2019
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An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestseller, and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist.
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.
“Enchanting, insightful, and extraordinary.” ―Novelgossip
“Vanderah’s beautifully human story reminds us that sometimes we need to look beyond the treetops at the stars to let some light into our lives.” ―New York Journal of Books
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a magical little gem of a book filled with lots of love and hope.” ―HelloGiggles
“A captivating fantasy tale of mystery and intrigue…” ―Fresh Fiction
“A skillfully written and thoroughly entertaining novel by an author with a genuine gift for originality and a distinctive narrative-driven storytelling style…” ―Midwest Book Review
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars, by Glendy Vanderah, is an enchanting, heartwarming, not to be missed novel that is bursting with love and hope.” ―The Patriot Ledger
“A heartwarming, magical story about love, loss, and finding family where you least expect it. This touching novel will remind readers of a modern-day The Snow Child.” ―Christopher Meades, award-winning author of Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars is an enchanting novel full of hope and the power of love that will pull at your heartstrings. Perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen.” ―Karen Katchur, author of The Sisters of Blue Mountain
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars will grab you from the very first page and surprise you the whole way through. This is an incredibly original, imaginative, and curious story. Glendy Vanderah has managed to create a world that is very real and, yet, entirely out of the ordinary.” ―Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
“In Where the Forest Meets the Stars, Glendy Vanderah weaves a deft and poignant story with well-drawn characters, including clever Ursa. With an unexpected and heart-racing climax, readers will wait breathlessly to find out what happens. A beautiful story of love, resilience, and the power of second chances.” ―Susie Orman Schnall, award-winning author of The Subway Girls
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a lovely, surprising, and insightful look at the way bonds are formed―both the ones that we choose and the ones that seem to choose us.” ―Rebecca Kauffman, author of The Gunners
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars is an enchanting novel…Readers will be taken by Glendy Vanderah’s rich and relatable characters and the way in which she weaves their stories together. At its core, Where the Forest Meets the Stars is about having faith, nurturing hope, and trusting your heart above your head, because when you do, miracles are possible.” ―Janis Thomas, bestselling author of What Remains True
“A powerful story of the way in which hearts are mended by love, compassion, and everyday miracles. Cleverly plotted and building to an intense crescendo in the final chapters, Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a beautiful and unforgettable debut.” ―Julianne MacLean, USA Today bestselling author
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 is her debut novel.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (March 1 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 332 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1503904911
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503904910
- Item weight : 336 g
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #74 in Family Life
- #81 in Domestic Life in Women's Fiction
- #127 in Contemporary Women's Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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The plot is quite engaging. Joanna Teale has returned to her graduate research on nesting birds after the loss of her mother and her own battle with cancer. She is on a mission to reclaim her life. But the mysterious appearance Ursa, a precocious 8 year old girl who insists she is from another universe and sent to earth to witness five miracles, throw a wrench into her plans.
Joanna reluctantly takes Ursa in while trying to uncover her real story with the assistance of her reclusive neighbour Gabriel Nash. Ursa’s intelligence, charm and fierce spirit transform the lives of both Joanna and Gabriel.
“Where the Forest Meets the Stars” is an imaginative and curious novel that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. The happily-ever-after ending is a bit too neat and tidy for my tastes. But that does not detract from the novel’s charm and originality.
Just read it, it will make you smile and cry at the same time. Love when authors make you fall in love with the characters.
Top reviews from other countries
The concept of Ursa being an alien within a dead girl’s body runs throughout the story. Even when the writer reveals the answers, I could not help but feel there was still more left unsaid. The bond that she develops with Jo and then Gabe is so wonderful and it is impossible not to feel the warmth radiating from the pages of this novel as their relationship develops. Initially you feel as suspicious as Jo about Ursa’s sudden appearance but, Ursa’s sweet innocence inevitably wins you over.
Ursa’s innocence is amazing and endearing. It is a reflection of times gone by and an innocence in childhood that we, as adults, unfortunately lose whilst growing up. That precious time is something to be protected and I think this is one of the things that encourages Jo to care for and protect Ursa. Furthermore, the “miracles” that Ursa has come to witness are so unexpected but undoubtedly provide both Jo and readers alike that same feeling of warmth, as Ursa takes delight in such simple and natural things in life.
The internal struggles that Jo and Gabe overcome are heart-wrenching. They are similar in their isolation and loneliness in life and it is Ursa that helps them to reconnect with those around them. She is like a little miracle in herself! Bringing a clarity, warmth and simplicity to life, readers share the excitement all three characters feel as they undergo a summer of discovery and a personal journey. Jo, having recently lost her mother to breast cancer and recovering from life-changing surgery, sees something in Ursa that encourages her to embrace company and a delight for life once more. Coupled with Gabe’s complicated upbringing, there is enough upset and trauma to throw these three characters together in a wonderful story-line.
The climax to this story was unexpected. Reflecting the uncertain times we live in, I found myself becoming increasingly anxious about what would happen to Jo, Ursa and Gabe. The police involvement was difficult for me to read as I desperately wanted a happy ending to come from such a lovely story. Some emotional issues are revealed in this novel which juxtaposes with the innocent summer of discovery that happens in the forest. As a result, the closing of the novel literally made me sigh with the satisfaction of knowing that the writer had got the balance just right.
This was a fantastic story. I was a bit reluctant to read this based on the blurb but, being so different, wanted to give it my attention. And I am so glad I did, because the book aftermath has left me feeling all warm, cosy, and pondering the real Ursa.
There are no loose ends in the story because EVERYTHING is tied up so neatly that it becomes twee.
The language and writing style are basic.
I gave it three stars as I did enjoy reading the story but it felt like the debut novel it is.
Starts off well and as other reviewers have said, enchanting but then tends to drag on and become twee. Have to say that I doubt men will enjoy this as it’s too ‘lovey dovey’. There are also certain issues thrown into the mix that do stretch credibility. That said, take the book at face value- it’s a journey into a light hearted fantasy with some realistic life problems dealt with in an alternative manner.
If you enjoy escapism then this will ‘hit the mark’, otherwise you maybe disappointed.