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Where the Forest Meets the Stars

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

A enchanting and magically story of a special little girl who teaches us all about the power and wonders of love.



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 young girl 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 well being, 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 Gabe who sells eggs at a corner stand and takes care of his elderly mom, has issues of his own. And then there are so many questions. Where does Ursa live? Why has no one reported her missing? How can she read and understand Shakespeare?

The three form an incredible bond, and they know difficult choices soon 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.

“I’ve decided language isn’t as advanced as we think it is. We’re still apes trying to express our thoughts with grunts while most of what we want to communicate stays locked in our brains.”


Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a wonderful big-hearted novel. This book will hook you on page one and not let you go until the cover is closed. You will even be thinking about it days later. The story is bright, clever and touching. And it’s the perfect read to escape from these crazy times.

Jo and Gabe’s characters are perfectly written, but Ursa steals your heart. She was unexpectedly delightful and perfectly magical. She was definitely my favorite part of the book. It’s takes a precious and determined child to teach us about the miracles of life!

Author Glendy Vanderah’s writing is riveting, smart and comfortable, it felt like slipping on your most comfortable pair of jeans. The story moved quickly and the writing was seamless. I listened to the Audible version of the book and absolutely loved the narration.

Vanderah grew up in Chicago Illinois and is an avian biologist, which is probably the reason Jo’s character is so real. Vanderah turned to writing when she and her ornithologist husband moved to Florida. (Go Gators).

“If she learned one thing in the past two years, it was that life could be hard enough without adding petty resentment

Publisher Lake Union

Published March 1, 2019

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