Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

Yona was kidnapped out of her crib at a very young age and forced to live in the forest with a woman named Jerusza.  Jerusza felt it her duty to take Yona from her German parents. 

Yona knew nothing other than living off the land, surviving in the forest, and stealing things from stores and people in the villages.

When Jerusza  died at 102 years of age, Yona was alone but able to survive because of her skills.

When Yona meets a group of Jewish folks who had escaped the ghetto, she felt it her duty to help them survive.

THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS takes us with Yona through her years with Jerusza and her harrowing, frightening, and dangerous time with the group as we see them learn the ways of the forest, live with fear, hide from the Nazis, and learn to trust each other.

When she is betrayed by the group, she leaves them and has to again make decisions on her own.

Ms. Harmel again did meticulous research and portrayed the plight of the characters with such authenticity that you were right there with them suffering through all the horrible conditions they had to endure.

This book is a beautiful tribute to the human spirit, to perseverance, and to finding the qualities a person possesses for empathy, kindness, and making choices.

Another FIVE star but very heartbreaking gem from Kristin Harmel.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I hope you are able to read Kristin’s newest.

    Thanks for stopping.

  2. Great review.
    I loved this book also.

    1. Thanks, Linda, and thanks for your comment.

  3. Not surprised to see it described as heartbreaking but I'm seeing so many rave reviews that I've added to my wish list. Thanks for the great review!

    1. It is very heartbreaking, but very informative.

      I never knew of this.

      Thanks for your comment, Mary.

  4. Sounds so good! Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is excellent.

      Thanks for your comment, Laurel.