12+ Book Ideas for Christmas, part III

Where the Forest Meets the Stars

A mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna 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.

Have you ever held something as precious as a tale about kindness and love? No? Well, then rush to your nearest bookstore or library and get your hands on this book. Everything in it, from start to finish—the characters full of life and deeply scarred, the humor, the healing through the power of friendship, the kindred spirits, the simplest things—is exactly why I still have faith in humanity and the people of Earth. Some bits may be a bit cheesy, but at this point who cares? Okay, I’m sure I’m still a bit overwhelmed, but, really, I don’t think five stars does this book justice. You can’t quantify the ones out there in the sky, why should we even begin to try and measure those in this story. Did I mention I loved this book?—autocorrect typed “lived,” and for once I might not argue. And this is a debut novel, mind you. After sending this review, I’m getting a hard copy of this one.

My 5-starred books:

Verity, by Colleen Hoover (released 2019)
I’m Fine and Neither Are You, by Camille Pagán (released 2019)
You Owe Me a Murder, by Eileen Cook (released 2019)
Where the Forest Meets the Stars, by Glendy Vanderah (released 2019 & favorite read)
Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
The Beach House, by James Patterson