The beautiful cover the German edition shows caught my attention first. After I had discovered the bluebirds and had read the summary, I thought why not try this new-to-me author and see if I would like her style and story. Where The Forest Meets The Stars is a novel about loss, love, and how cancer changes the life of those affected. On the other hand, there is a hunger for life and happiness readable between the lines, and you barely think about the illness.

Ein Nest Voller Träume*
by Glendy Vanderah
Translation Andrea Fischer
Original Title Where The Forest Meets The Stars
Publisher Fischer TB on December 28, 2022
Genre Novel
Pages 396
Format Paperback
Source Fischer TB 

Sometimes something bad has to happen for something good to happen.

Joanna Teale actually wants to finish her doctoral thesis. To do this, the ornithologist throws herself into her field research in the woods. But now there is a little girl in their shelter and everything changes. who is the little one Did she run away or on the run? To solve the mystery of Ursa's origins, Joanna seeks help from her reclusive neighbor. The more time they spend with the girl, the more questions they ask themselves. Over a period of several weeks, the three become a surrogate family for each other. But before the summer is over, the past catches up with them.
Joanna wants nothing more than to go on with her life again. A normal life where she can finish her work and do what she loves the most. Watching birds and taking care that they can thrive in the best way possible. But her friends think otherwise. For them, Joanna is still a recovering woman who needs to rest. A word that Joanna can no longer hear.

It's the quiet tones that make this novel a wonderful reading experience. The main character has a wonderful way of going about things, seeing life, and dealing with her past. The reader is presented with many delicious scene and dialogue that has brought a smile to my face more than once. The beautiful landscape does the rest to put the story in a beautiful light.

The specialist knowledge that the author so casually incorporates gives the reader an entertaining insight into the work of an ornithologist and at the same time how she forms a bond with a little girl that she didn't actually want.

There really aren't any great character descriptions here. These are brought closer to the reader through their actions. Which gives the novel itself a special appeal.

Joanna has been through a rough patch and all she really wants is to get her life back to where she literally left it before her illness. But it doesn't seem to be that easy. In contrast to her, those around her have practically gotten stuck in the time of her illness, while she herself got up again and continues. She enjoys her work and brings her back a sense of purpose in her life. If only the others could finally understand that.

And I don't even want to start with Ursa. The girl is awesome!

This novel is beautiful to read in its own way. Delicate yet with a touch of irony through the main character, it offers an incredible insight into the life of the protagonist and shows a landscape that shows both beauty and roughness. The cover alone is an eye-catcher, the content of the book guarantees reading pleasure for everyone who is a fan of soft tones.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer TB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Die leisen Töne sind es, die diesen Roman zu einem wunderbaren Leseerlebnis machen. Die Hauptfigur hat eine herrliche Art an sich, die Dinge anzugehen, das Leben zu sehen und mit ihrer Vergangenheit umzugehen. Dem Leser wird so manche köstliche Szene und Dialog präsentiert, die mir mehr als einmal ein Schmunzeln auf die Lippen gezaubert haben. Die schöne Landschaft tut ein Übriges, um die Geschichte in ein schönes Licht zu rücken. 

Das Fachwissen, das die Autorin so ganz nebenbei einfließen lässt, bringt dem Leser auf unterhaltsame Weise die Arbeit einer Ornithologin nahe und zugleich, wie diese mit einem kleinen Mädchen eine Verbindung aufbaut, die sie eigentlich nicht wollte.

Großartige Figurenbeschreibungen gibt es hier eigentlich nicht. Diese werden dem Leser eher durch ihr Agieren nahegebracht. Was dem Roman selbst einen besonderen Reiz verleiht. 

Joanna hat eine heftige Zeit hinter sich und will eigentlich nichts anderes, als ihr Leben wieder da aufzunehmen, wo sie es vor ihrer Krankheit buchstäblich liegen lassen musste. Doch so leicht scheint das nicht zu sein. Im Gegensatz zu ihr ist ihr Umfeld praktisch in der Zeit ihrer Krankheit stecken geblieben, während sie selbst wieder aufgestanden ist und weiter macht. Die Arbeit macht ihr Spaß und bringt ihr wieder einen Sinn zurück in ihr Leben. Wenn das die anderen nur auch endlich begreifen könnten.

Und von Ursa will ich gar nicht erst anfangen. Das Mädchen ist der Hammer!

Dieser Roman ist auf seine eigene Weise wunderschön zu lesen. Feinfühlig und trotzdem mit einem Hauch Ironie durch die Hauptfigur versehen, bietet er einen unglaublichen Einblick in das Leben der Protagonistin und zeigt eine Landschaft, die sowohl Schönheit als auch Rauheit zeigt. Das Cover allein ist schon ein Hingucker, der Buchinhalt garantiert Lesegenuss für alle, die ein Fan der leisen Töne sind. 

*This book was published in the English language by Lake Union Publishing on March 1, 2019 

Glendy Vanderah
Glendy Vanderah ©Ashley Nicole Johnson

Glendy Vanderah is an ornithologist. Although she grew up in Chicago, she has always been more interested in wildlife and nature than in city life. She studied at the University of Illinois and worked as a biologist for the protection of endangered bird species. Today she lives in Florida with her husband and their three children and has devoted herself to writing. Vanderah's best-selling novel, Where The Forest Meets The Stars, has been translated into 33 languages and has been loved by readers worldwide.


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