Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Author: Glendy Vanderah
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Published: March 1, 2019
Audiobook: 9 hours 57 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 31- February 4, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars was another book club read and one I had not heard of before, but I am glad I have read…well listened to it! It is a very strong debut novel that deals with many issues that these three characters are all dealing with: cancer, depression, childhood abuse/trauma and dysfunctional families.
It was a quick and easy read for me. It is a well written and powerful novel with characters that really grow on you. Jo, Gabe, and Ursa are all broken and damaged and together they all heal. Is Ursa really an alien from another planet? You see that Jo should do the right thing by reporting Ursa, but also see her conflicting emotions. As Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle the novel really speeds up to head in a direction that you know what is coming, but not really. Everything comes together and I really enjoyed this one! Vanderah has written more novels and the covers are all so similar and gorgeous! This is one you just can’t say much about without giving things away!
The narrator Lauren Ezzo did such a great job, especially with her narration of Ursa. Her narration helped to improve on an already superb novel!