Welcome to my stop on the Where the Forest Meets the Stars blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours! Thanks to TLC for the invitation!
About the Book:
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.
There’s a reason (or two or three) why Where the Forest Meets the Stars is an Amazon bestseller. It’s special!
So special, in fact, I’m unlikely to forget this story or its characters.
Joanna has had her share of trauma and grief. As a breast cancer survivor still grieving the loss of her mother, she goes back to graduate school to study birds (this in and of itself was fascinating, and a fun tidbit- the author had this same profession). Joanna has become a workaholic living a solitary life consumed by her studies.
Until, one day, Ursa, shows up at Joanna’s rental. Ursa is a young girl, a bit quirky, who doesn’t seem to have a home. She tells Joanna she’s been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. Joanna is too practical to buy this story and insists that the girl go home…Until the girl finally convinces here there is no home. Joanna thinks eventually she’ll find out more so she can help Ursa…
Jo asks her neighbor, Gabriel, for help – to find out who Ursa is, where she’s from. The more they learn about Ursa, the more confused they are. The inconsistencies in her knowledge make no sense. She’s a child well-versed in Shakespeare? (Among other conundrums).
The three become the best of friends as the summer is close to ending. Ursa has found her fourth miracle, and the fifth could happen at any time. There’s a synergy building when all of their pasts are exposed. What will the future be like for these three lovable characters?
While I guess Where the Forest Meets the Stars has a paranormal or fantasy aspect, it doesn’t feel that way. The story is grounded firmly in the here and now, and Ursa has a magical power that can be only described as love. Pure, unadulterated, innocent love. The miracles she witnesses are truly beautiful (experiencing them through her eyes melted my heart), but the beauty in Ursa is all the love she exudes to those around her and the effect she has on them as a result. Oh my goodness, Ursa! You simply have to meet her.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a story of friendship and the power of healing through friends. The writing is straight forward, not a spare word, easy-to-read, and so full of heart, all you are left with is hope in the end, and who doesn’t want to be left with that?
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
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 as many birds, butterflies, and wildflowers as she can lure to her land. Where the Forest Meets the Stars is her debut novel.