27 June 2024

Review: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah book cover

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah has an engaging premise. A young girl wanders from the woods barefoot and bruised into Joanna Teale's world, appearing to be a runaway or escaping from an abusive situation. Single and recently recovered from breast cancer, Jo studies the nesting habits of birds in rural Illinois and is ill equipped to deal with the mysterious girl who refuses to leave.

The young girl calls herself Ursa Major and claims she's an alien in the body of a dead girl. Ursa says she's visiting earth to understand humans and she'll only leave after witnessing five miracles.
"By miracles I only mean things that amaze me. When I've seen those five things, I'll go back and tell the stories to my people. It's like getting a PhD and becoming a professor." Page 21
I can sense some readers rolling their eyes right about now, but the author does a stellar job (pun intended) on the dialogue and plot development from this point on. Ursa is incredibly intelligent and Jo reacts sensibly and takes the steps you expect her to. Together with Jo's neighbour Gabriel, the two of them muddle through the awkward and uncertain days that follow as they try to find out where the changeling is from.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah was a birthday gift from family and a five star read, right up until the romance angle became too much. Jo moved too quickly and went too far, and just two words - cutting ties - resulted in the loss of a star from this reader. The passive aggressive kissing scene in front of Gabe's mother didn't sit right with me, nor did Jo's lack of boundary recognition and quick dismissal of Gabe's trauma and depression. Until this point, the entire book had me enthralled and was a clear five star reading experience.

Whether you choose to believe Ursa's story or not, the narrative can be enjoyed both ways and I found myself looking forward to returning to Ursa's world and of course seeing what the miracles - if any -might be. 

Where the Forest Meets the Stars
 by Glendy Vanderah was a feel good read with a satisfying conclusion. Recommended!

My Rating:

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