Where The Forest Meets The Stars


Glendy Vanderah

Where The Forest Meets The Stars is a debut novel by Glendy Vanderah.  Joanna, an ornithologist doing field work for her PhD, arrives at her rental cottage one evening to find a young barefoot girl wearing pajamas in her yard.  After a day or two of the girl refusing to tell Jo who her parents are and stating that she is from the Ursa Major Galaxy, Jo calls the sheriff for assistance.  The girl, who refers to herself as Ursa runs away as the sheriff arrives.  In her discussions with the sheriff, Jo hears his viewpoint that putting kids into the foster system can often do more harm than good.

Ursa returns to Jo’s house and despite trying to get more information and searching the missing children’s website daily, Jo has no clue as to who this child is and why no one has reported her missing.  Jo’s neighbor Gabe also becomes involved in trying to solve the mystery of Ursa as Ursa has also befriended.

This story is reminiscent of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey with a fantasy like aspect.  The pieces of the story come together at the end and the reader gets closure as to who Ursa really is and what happened to her.  But along the way, we really learn about Jo and Gabe’s backstories, family secrets, love, illness and loss. 

I enjoyed this novel as a change of pace.  The author addresses some tough but realistic issues that touch the lives of many.  I give it five stars and two thumbs up!