WHERE THE LOST WANDER by Amy Harmon

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.


Title : Where The Lost Wander
Author : Amy Harmon
Format : eARC
Page Count : 348
Genre : Historical Fiction
Publisher : Lake Union Publishing
Release Date : April 28, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an Amy Harmon book and for some reason, I just decided it was time. I am pulled to historical fiction that I don’t know a lot about and American history hits that box for me. This book felt like a Jojo Moyes and it really gave me The Giver of Stars vibes (that’s a high compliment).

The prologue pulls you in with a bang, and then you spend much of the book learning about how the story got to the point of the prologue, and you get some great story beyond that. This was an epic narrative of emigration across an American trail…thousands of miles of journey and it was a survival story. It was brutal and I didn’t realise how tough this journey was with illness, children, death and conflict. I learnt a lot and it gripped me.

The two protagonists were Naomi, a young widow travelling with her parents and brothers and John, a half-Pawnee, half-white man who was taking mules for trade. John was an enigma at first, emotionally inept and he didn’t seem to know where he belonged. John’s growth as a character over this book was vast and that was my favourite part of the story.

He cries like it’s the first time he’s ever cried, like all the pain of all his twenty-odd years is rising up at once.

I can’t and won’t even begin to describe what happened to these characters and families, it’s too big and too spoilery but it was a lot and it was grim. There brothers in this story were favourites and I lived for their chinks of light.

The indigenous people woven throughout this story were a range of tribes and had a range of ways. They were so fundamental to this story, John and Naomi and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and people depicted. Lost Woman and Hanabi in particular, left an impression on me and Naomi.

WHERE THE LOST WANDER is a historical fiction with romantic elements rather than a historical romance and in that, it worked really well for me. On finishing, I feel like I have also been on a journey and I’m a little ’emotioned-out’. Highly recommended for all fans of historical fiction.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for the early review copy.

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