Written by Justine Shim
Joanna, Ursa and Gabe are brought together in an unexpected, touching and emotional story in Glendy Vanderah’s debut novel Where the Forest Meets the Stars.
Joanne Teale is a graduate student researching nesting birds in rural Illinois. She buries herself in her work as she heals from the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer. Then, one day Ursa shows up. A 10 year old girl that claims she’s been sent from another planet to witness 5 miracles on Earth. Joanne is of course concerned for the girl and makes every effort to insist Ursa goes back to her home. Joanna frequently checks the missing children website but finds nothing. Ursa sticks to her story and eventually convinces Joanna that there is no home to go back to and Joanna reluctantly lets her stay. She enlists the help from her reclusive neighbour, Gabe Nash to help her. As the days and weeks go by, Joanna, Ursa and Gabe form a special bond and uncover stories of their own lives which bring them even closer.
At first, Where the Forest Meets the Stars may sound like it is a paranormal or fantasy story, but it is a tale of true friendship, love and kindness. An emotional, heartwarming story about 3 people and their life stories that bring them together to form an incredible bond.