What a magnificent read! I couldn’t be more excited to share my 5-star review of Where the Lost Wander by USA Today bestselling author
In this epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail, a family and their unlikely protector find their way through peril, uncertainty, and loss.
The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.
But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.
When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually…make peace with who they are.
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5-Stars ~ Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
I used to be an avid reader of historical novels and can’t thank Harmon enough for awaking my interest in this broader genre. Her highly structured writing and vivid descriptions transported me back in time, making me feel as if I were alongside her characters in their quest to reach the West. Endurance comes alive in the heart of a wagon trail and no matter how fast I tried to absorb the words, it quickly became apparent that this was a book to be relished, not rushed. At its very deepest, I found myself pausing to contemplate significant paragraphs and passages in a narrative so lifelike simply because my emotions had got the better of me.
As the story unfolded, my concern for John and Naomi elevated to a high level of nervousness; but now my biggest worry is being able to give this truly magnificent book the merit deserved. Such are my feeling for what I hope you’ll experience means I’ll try my hardest not to spoil this epicness for you.
‘I say nothing to anyone, hiding my misery as I see to my animals, but I am in trouble, and I am scared.’
An arduous and complex setting grows into an imperfectly-perfect heart-rending romance. Wagons being pulled by jack donkeys and oxen; horses weighed down, unrelenting rain and storms, rivers overflowing and the sun shining down on glimmers of hope, devastation—I. Felt. Every. Single. Moment. The mere fact that future settlers even took this route, astounded me. And then when disaster struck, to say I was terrified would be putting it mildly. It’s clear to see the author had given her all and it’s difficult for me to imagine just how much research she’d done to give her readers such authenticity. Yes, I confess to googling names of Indian tribes, places and dates. I’m sure American readers are well-aware of the Oregon Trail history facts, but Amy’s offering is for the likes of me across the pond, a lesson to be remembered.
“…Hating never fixed anything. It seems simple, but most things are. We just complicate them. We spend our lives complicating what we would do better to accept. Because in acceptance, we put our energies into transcendence.”
To boot; the multi-ethnic aspect in those times throws light on how those involved could ever come to terms with it under such harsh circumstances. More crying and sniffling, more falling head of heels with a heroine whom I’d connected with at a snap of a finger. Watching her observe others, how she treated her loved ones, listening to her thoughts, and the effect she had on my new hero literally bowled me over. Regardless of all the hurdles, swaying options was never an option and this is what makes her special.
‘John does not flirt. He doesn’t say pretty, empty things. He listens, soaking everything in. John’s a doer. An observer. And his thoughts, when he shares them, are like little shoots of green grass on a dry prairie.’
John is beyond noble. His background isn’t an advantage; his heartache became mine and his respect for a woman who’d accepted him without any remorse for his past…I honestly have no words. Strong family ties, finding one’s place in a contra-society is without a doubt, food for thought. I guess you know who’s story this belongs to though. John’s glory is being in the right place…at the right time though? That’s for you to discover.
‘My dreams are like my childhood, garbled with sounds and gestures that belong to both of my worlds—or all of them.’
A note for Winifred May. You, lady, gained my total respect with your strength, advice and empathy. However, the story is told from John and Naomi’s perspective in first-person present-tense, giving me a bird’s eye view of their uttermost inner thoughts. Harmon has delivered a read I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Bravo!
“There are many ways to fight, Naomi Lowry.”
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in seventeen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.
Amy Harmon has written fifteen novels – the bestselling fantasy novel, The First Girl Child, the Washington Post bestseller What the Wind Knows, the USA Today bestsellers The Bird and The Sword, The Smallest Part, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as the #1 Amazon bestselling historical From Sand and Ash, The Queen and The Cure, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, and the New York Times bestsellers, A Different Blue and What The Wind Knows
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