Where The Lost Wander by Amy Harmon


Where The Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

It’s 1853 and the May family is nervous but excited to join 49 other covered wagons to travel from Missouri to California. Like most pioneers following the Oregon trail west, they are naive of what lay ahead.

The story is told from alternating points of view of the oldest May child Naomi, and John Lowry, the half breed mule skinner signed on to help the families through the journey.

Despite being widowed for a year,  Naomi’s in-laws, also traveling in the party, feel she still belongs to them. This causes anger and hurt feelings when she chooses to travel in her family’s wagon and refers to herself as Naomi May instead of Mrs. Caldwell or Widow Caldwell. The bad feelings only increase when it becomes apparent that feelings are growing between Naomi and John, hate and anger finally acted out against John. Fortunately this only strengthens their relationship and draws John closer to the May family.

The further the wagon train moves along the trail, the more important the love and support of family became. Between deaths, cholera, hunger, exhaustion, accidents along the way, and Indians, it’s all many have left.

When Naomi and her new baby brother are captured by a particularly blood thirsty Indian chief, John will go to the ends of the earth, give his life, to get her back while honoring his commitment to take care of her family.

I was a little turned off at first, afraid this was a Romance novel rather than Historical Fiction. But realized as I read on that while they did fall in love, John’s love and devotion to Naomi and her family become very important to their survival – part of the story of their journey West.

I suggest reading the Author’s Notes at the end of the book. Harmon goes into detail of some of the research put into writing this story, which characters were real and how they fit into history, and which ones were created to tell the story. In this case the Author has some distant family relation, which always adds extra depth to a story.

I always enjoy stories of wagon trains along the Oregon Trail and have looked forward to reading Where The Lost Wander. I was not disappointed. I recommend reading for anyone interested in the history of how our country was settled, the daily life struggles for families moving west in the mid 1850’s.

Where The Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Lake Union Publishing
Available April 28, 2020

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