It is such a treat to get a new Kristin Harmel book to read (and review). Everything she writes immediately goes into my-favorite-books-of-the-year category. And her latest, The Forest of Vanishing Stars, is certainly no exception. Here is the synopsis:
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Another Excellent Harmel!
After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of Eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what's happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest - and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.
As a history major, and a big (huge) fan of historical fiction, I have read a lot of books about WWII. And, yet, I keep reading about things that I absolutely had no knowledge of (yes, I know you're not supposed to end a sentence or phrase with a preposition). Harmel has, once again, done that for me. Her writing and story-telling are exemplary. And her research always blows me away. On top of all that (as if that isn't enough), she always makes me care about the characters. As early as page 55 I was already shaking my head.
I mentioned how good her writing is. Here are just a couple of examples:
"...worry fluttered in her chest like an uncertain butterfly."
"I'm broken too. But sometimes it's the jagged edges that allow us to fit together."
I basically say the same thing after every new Harmel: "Just read it." You will always be happy you did.