Books Magazine

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

By Pamelascott

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 neighbour, 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.

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[The girl could be a changeling]

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(Lake Union Publishing, 1 March 2019, 304 pages, ebook, Amazon First Reads, bought from @AmazonUK)

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I really, really enjoyed this book. This is a magical, delightful book about love, life and ordinary happiness and how it can change the world. Jo and Gabe are great characters and I love how they come together to help Ursa. Ursa tells them that she's an alien sent from the stars to witness five miracles. As Jo and Gabe start to trust each other and bond through their love for the mysterious Ursa they start to learn some dark secrets about her. There are two possibilities. Option 1 = Ursa is telling the truth, she's an alien sent to earth to witness five miracles, sent to inhabit the body of a girl who died. Option 2 = Ursa has created this fantasy about being an alien because she witnessed horrific events and is trying to cope with what she witnessed. The truth isn't clear in the book. This lost one star because I really wanted Ursa to be an alien. Still, Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a terrific read.

Where Forest Meets Stars Glendy Vanderah

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