It’s Sunday, and I finished reading Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah this afternoon for my At Your Leisure Online Bookclub (AYLOBC). The description had me at, “The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles.”
Friends, Saturday was my forty-first day of #stayhome, people all over America were undoing all of our dedication to a greater good by protesting the COVID-19 shutdown, and I found myself in an unfamiliar, ugly state: I wished people their comeuppance. “You’ll get what’s coming to you.”
I’m not proud, but I’m honest. I felt ill. After all, I’m the author who says she likes to write stories about people who want to matter, regardless of their backgrounds. Hmph.
I knew the best medicine, okay, the only medication that could treat my disappointment in myself and humanity, was a literary escape about a small girl who believes in miracles.
And page after page of Glendy Vanderah’s lovely novel, I found miracles of my own: hope and compassion. This book reminded me that everyone has a story that influences their reasons. It reminded me that people want to matter.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars is so much more than a story about people learning to trust and love again; it’s an exercise in understanding how a person’s life experiences can influence his/her worldview, perspective, and present-day choices. If you need an escape and a healthy dose of hope and compassion, this is the book for you.
Thanks for being you, Glendy Vanderah.
Author of Tiger Drive and In the Doghouse: A Couple’s Breakup from Their Dog’s Point of View
Where the Forest Meets the Stars description as borrowed from Amazon:
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.
Order Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
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