The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

Yona is of the woods, raised in them for over a decade and now she is on her own. She has been trained and taught everything she needs to continue to survive but things are about to change when war drives refugees into these very woods she calls home. Having been kept from the outside world, she is cautious yet curious. She would love to have others to talk to, to befriend to share the woods with, but all are enemies is what she has been raised to believe.

As the Germans start to occupy the surrounding villages, more and more refugees are coming into the woods, and Yona knows she can help them survive. She sees that they do not know how to live amongst nature. What berries and mushrooms are safe to eat, how to move without a sound, how to read the wind, the weather. She feels she must help these people, maybe this is what she has been raised for.

But as she makes promises to help keep these people safe, she is also starting to understand some of the rules that Jerusza had put in place and how quickly people can change. Not all are good, but the good do seem to still outweigh the bad. As the war progresses more people are seeking help, and Yona cannot say no, and with each added mouth she is tested to prove that Mother Nature can protect and provide if you respect and learn how to use what is given.

There is SO much more to this story, and it is amazing the amount of refugees that survived in these woods. Based on true stories of those who ran to, and used the woods to survive the war, this novel is a mixture of everything. Fear, hope, health, faith, love, endurance, safety and survival.

Thank you to Kristin Harmel for one of the first autographed ARCS! This will forever be cherished on my bookshelf! Thank you also to the publisher, Gallery Books. Kristin Harmel is an author whose book I purchase without having to even know the story she wrote, I love how she delves into these stories and brings them to life!

~ Goodreads – About the Author ~

Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES, THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. After stints covering health and lifestyle for American Baby, Men’s Health, and Woman’s Day, she became a reporter for PEOPLE and spent more than a decade working for the publication, covering everything from the Super Bowl to high-profile murders to celebrity interviews with the likes of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, OutKast, Justin Timberlake, and Patrick Dempsey. Her favorite stories at PEOPLE, however, were the “Heroes Among Us” features—tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of those features—the story of Holocaust-survivor-turned-philanthropist Henri Landwirth (whom both Walter Cronkite and John Glenn told Kristin was the most amazing person they’d ever known)—partially inspired Kristin’s 2012 novel, The Sweetness of Forgetting, which was a bestseller all over the world.

In addition to a long magazine writing career (which also included articles published in Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz—where her assignments included flying to London three times to interview the cast of the Harry Potter films. She has appeared on Good Morning America and numerous local television morning shows–and even stumbled into a role as an extra in the 2003 American Idol movie while awaiting an interview with Kelly Clarkson.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She travels frequently to France for book research (and—let’s be honest—for the pastries and wine) and writes a book a year for Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster.

Kristin Harmel

~ Other novels by Kristin Harmel ~

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