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The Forest of Vanishing Stars  By  cover art

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

By: Kristin Harmel
Narrated by: Kristin Harmel - author's note, Madeleine Maby
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Publisher's summary

Parade “Best Books of Summer” pick * Real Simple pick * She Reads “Best WWII Fiction of Summer 2021” pick

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

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.

Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

©2021 Kristin Harmel Lietz. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"In this compelling coming-of-age story, narrator Madeleine Maby portrays the mysterious Jerusza in a wise and foreboding tone. The intuitive woman kidnaps Yona from Berlin just before her second birthday and raises her in the Naliboki Forest of Poland. Maby's depiction of Yona, initially brimming with curiosity and wonder, evolves to reflect the girl's growth into an increasingly self-assured young woman after Jerusza's death. As WWII approaches, Yona's purpose becomes clear: She is to help the Jews who are hiding in the forest. The author delivers a note on the historical underpinnings of this story at the end of the audiobook. Light, plaintive clarinet music introduces and ends the production." (AudioFile Magazine)