Forests and the wild things in life have always fascinated me and I love to wander in them. But, if I was forced to hide and live in the forests, I’m not sure I would survive. Unless you have studied the stars, you could be lost very quickly! And without survival skills, you will be hungry too!
Kristen has written a story of the many people who were displaced during the war. Jews forced to leave their homes ended up in ghettos. They were then systematically sent to work camps. The other possibility was concentration camps or just shot outright! While many people helped the Germans, there were others who did not. They would listen and learn about upcoming campaigns to rid the towns and villages of all the Jews. They would warn all who would listen. Many took the chance and ran for the forests where they could hide!
The forest though can be unforgiving if you don’t know it’s secrets. Foraging and building shelters without being seen are things that most people don’t need learn for their everyday lives. But these are the very things that will keep them from being seen.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars begins with a young girl being kidnapped from her wealthy parents! While there is a brewing of hatred starting, it is well before the war actually begins. She is scurried away into the forest by a woman who knows all of the secrets of survival. She can move through the woods without detection. It is important for her to teach her young companion these things and more. Her education in the ways of the forest include healing with herbs and how to forage for food. She becomes fluent in many languages as well. Self defense, being able to “hide in plain sight” are tools that will be used many times.
Should the need arise she can also incapacitate or kill a person if they become a threat to her survival. She hunts, fishes, builds shelters, forages and ultimately becomes like a woodland elf. She learns how to make herself disappear into the woods and to listen to the sounds of changes around her too. Her compassion is fostered by her “forest mom”, and she learns all about the different religions and customs. She seeks “God” in all things around her. She truly has had an education that no one could imagine.
Her teacher knows that bad things are coming and the need to be able to hide successfully will save many lives. When the war begins, she is alone as her “forest mom,” has died. The lessons that she learned at her side will help her survive the onslaught that is about to happen.
She won’t be alone though! The compassion that she has learned will help her to become the leader of many hiding in the forests. They will need her help in order to live!
This story is powerfully written and has you on the edge of your seat waiting for what happens next. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I am reining myself in!
Suffice it to say that if you don’t read any other book this summer, you really must read this one!
It should be on bookshelves July 6, 2021 and you will not regret getting it!
As a member of Netgalley, I was given this book through Simon & Schuster Canada!
I promised to give a book report and truly I am pleased to be able to do just that. This book is amazing and really keeps you totally immersed in a period of time that we hope never happens again.