Cover Image: Where the Lost Wander

Where the Lost Wander

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Member Reviews

I love historical romances and its clear Amy Harmon had to do a lot of research to write the historical aspects of this story.  The author does an excellent job detailing the struggles of life on a wagon train and the relationship settlers had with the Native Americans.  I loved Naomi and John and the connection they had and the connection Naomi had with her brothers.  I gave this story 3 stars because this story progressed way too slow to the point where I would go days in-between reading.  The writing is wonderful and loved the detail but for me maybe it was too much detail to the point the story just moved a too slow to keep me engaged.
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So, this is a big one for me. My first EVER historical romance read. YESSS, I'll say it again for the people in the back. My historical romance, cherry has been popped. It was part of my reading goals from last year that got carried over to this year. I wanted it to be from an author that can depend on their writing. I'm so thankful that I chose Amy Harmon, she's a phenomenal writer. I ended up listening to the audiobook, the narrators were great. I got wrapped up in the story and couldn't stop listening. Just as it is with the other books that I've read from Amy, this book left its stamp on my heart. Without a doubt, I'll be reading more historical fiction novels.
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Thank you, Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Where The Lost Wanderis a romantic historical fiction set on Oregon Trail and it tells us the hauntingly beautiful love story of Naomi May and John Lowry. They meet on their journey to California in search of a better life. Their journey was hard, filled with labor, pain ,sweat and tears. The book describes the reality of families who set on the path to a better future and having to endure the worst of hardships, sicknesses, and ugliness. This is not a sugar-coated version of the journey and the author pulled no punches in delivering a raw, unimaginably tragic story of love, loss, and hope. The story was so difficult to read at times with the descriptions of the arduous journey on the trail. The deaths and sicknesses that came upon the families often brought out the fears and pain in them. The book highlights the nature of humans at their best and worst with powerful storytelling and wonderful characters. The journey through the harsh trail is the focal point of this story with the individual struggles and family dynamics adding depth to the narrative. The dual perspective of Naomi and John helps us connect to the characters effectively and immediately. I was heartbroken and shaken by the time I was through this book. Amy Harmon has done a fantastic job of painting a vivid picture of the trail, the people, and their experiences that you cannot help but feel for them strongly. I loved how wonderfully researched it was and the fact that some of the major players in this book are based on real people and the author's connection to John Lowry through her husband makes it even more special and amazing. The authentic and respectful portrayal of Native Americans and the settlers and the constant tensions that ran through them were very well depicted. I highly recommend checking this book out, if you love a good, heart-wrenching story of love, loss, hope, and perseverance. This is a slow read and one that is bound to bring tears to your eyes. I loved it and I gave this book 5 stars. This will easily be one of my favorites in historical fiction novels.
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4.5 stars

1853 ..The Oregon Trail
Life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. 
Naomi May is 20 yrs old, a recent widow after just three months of marriage, and is traveling with her parents and several brothers for a life out West.
John Lowry is a half Pawnee man who is on the trail to help guide the families West.
There is a beautiful love story here but what had me immersed in the story was the actual life on the trail, the family connections, and the encounters with the Indians and their customs.
Loved it!

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC!
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Historical fiction never used to be my thing, but now I cannot get enough of it. I have ventured out from my usual WWII or late 60s / early 70s stories & I took a ride on The Oregon Trail.

Naomi May & her family are heading west from Missouri to California for a better life. John Lowry is part of the group leading her family, & this story is their incredible journey.

I really enjoyed this book. It took me to a time period I knew nothing about (except for the video game, which is obviously aging me here), & I learned so much. The struggle these people went through, leaving loved ones who died buried on the side of the road, is truly unfathomable.

If you’ve read this book, you know there is a BIG plot shift about 3/4 of the way through. I struggled there a bit because I couldn’t imagine how the book would end. While I didn’t LOVE how it was resolved, it made sense & allowed me to enjoy that section of the book a bit more. I realize this is wildly vague, but I don’t want to spoil it.

All in all, an A- from me. The last 1/4 of the book was what got me from making it a full A. But reading the Author’s Note at the end gave me such an appreciation for what historical fiction authors need to do before writing a book like this. Amazing! Still highly recommend.

Read if you like:
• Historical fiction
• The Oregon Trail
• Dual POVs
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3.5/5 Stars

I was so excited to get this book for review! I love a good Oregon Trail historical fiction! Even better if it has romance! I hadn't read an Amy Harmon book before but I've heard nothing but excellent things about her work.

For full transparency, I put this book aside around the 54% mark. I don't often write reviews like this but it is very much a "It's not you. It's me." situation when it comes to this book and my reading experience with it was very much not the book's fault. I've loved what I read of this book. My problem is that I tried to read it while under a stay-at-home order for Covid-19 and I couldn't enjoy the reading experience like I would have under different conditions. 

The research that went into this book was phenomenal and I felt like I was there because of the quality and excellence of Harmon's writing. The pacing of this book was just too slow moving for me and the challenges the characters faced were just too traumatic, heavy, and heartbreaking for my mindset during a global pandemic.

I bought myself the ebook of this book and I'm planning on picking it up again when I can handle the sadness and trauma in the story. So far the story rates a solid 3.5 stars but I'm sure that I'll rate it higher once I finish the book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
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Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this complimentary review copy. All opinions are my own.

I used to read a lot of historical fiction, and one of the reasons I so enjoyed it was how it transported me to a different era and environment. I grew up fascinated by Prairie settlers and the Oregon trail, so I was optimistic this would suck me in. Unfortunately, I found the beginning of the book to be incredibly slow and drawn-out, and something about the writing failed to flow for me. These are entirely subjective opinions and by no means an objective critique of the author; it just became very difficult to stay invested. I think this story explores powerful themes of belonging and liminal existence in a time when "race" and ethnic background mattered a lot, especially to indigenous people and the settlers, and I commend it for going there. I just wish I'd been able to be better absorbed in the story instead of struggling like a fish upstream to get into the storytelling style.
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This is a really hard book for me to review. What the Wind Knows by this author is one of my all-time favorite books. I love Amy Harmon's writing. And, while the writing in this book is equally beautiful, there was just such an air of loss and sadness throughout the book that I had a hard time with. Having said that, I really liked the story and the main characters. I really cared about what happened to them and rooted for them. So, if you are looking for a happy, uplifting book, this is not it. But if you are looking for a great story with beautiful writing, I would definitely recommend this book.
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WOW, this is the first book I've read by this author and I absolutely loved it!
I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and looked forward to reading this story every night. My favorite genres are historical and suspense/thrillers and this was a refreshing story covering a fresh time period for me.
The book takes place in the 1850s as families make their way west in covered wagons. It's such a well-written book shining light on the struggles of the pioneers and the native americans in this period of change and survivial.
I was all-in with the main characters: John Lowry, "two feet" - a man who sticks to his promises, beliefs, and loves and forgives with all his heart, and Naomi, a young widow who is spunky, determined, and knows what she wants - John.
This is a book I'll read again, it was fantastic!
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I love Amy Harmon.  I am always astounded by her breadth of creativity.  She has so many different genres she writes in and I have loved them all!  

I was not disappointed by this one.  Since I have read many stories of pioneers crossing the plains before, this was an enjoyable read and a creative look at that journey to California.  We meet Naomi as she and her family are preparing to cross the plains.  When she meets John Lowry and they are heading out, a difficult and harrowing journey awaits them.  I loved the characters, I felt sadness and pain as so many hard things happened in the story.  But I also felt the joy and redemption.  It was neat to learn about characters I had heard about, but never knew the full story.  And the romance was clean, but beautiful.  Another knock-out hit by Amy Harmon.

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC for my honest opinion.
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): Dangitt man I was soooo looking fwd to reading this one! DNF at 43%! It's just not holding my attention at all (I still luv u Amy)
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1850’s America, especially pioneering novels are my jam!! I love them dearly.  Books like Lonesome Dove and These is My Words, yes please!!  Imagine my excitement when I saw Amy Harmon’s newest novel is about life on the Oregon Trail.  Then we find a fantastic character in Naomi.   Naomi Is someone we could all get behind, passionate and smart. A woman who knows exactly what she wants, yes!!  The book starts off with a bang and then slows down but in a good way, you won’t want to rush through this beautiful writing. Read it slowly and enjoy this piece of American History.  Wonderful and heartbreaking.  I highly recommend
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"It's worth it, you know."
"What is, Jennie?"
"The pain. It's worth it. The more you love, the more it hurts. But it's worth it. It's the only thing that is." 

⚠️Attention all historical fiction fans - Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon is a MUST read.⚠️

I know a lot of us historical fiction readers have been getting a little WWII'd out lately BUT the good thing is there are a ton of historical fiction books that are about other times and this is one of them. Can you imagine life on the Oregon Trail trying to bring your whole family from the Midwest all the way to California.... In the mid-1800's.... In a wagon!?? I know I would have been a goner. Life was brutal back then and this book did a great job at not sugar-coating it. It was a tough read in parts, but I hung on every word. I adored the characters and they will live on in my heart for a long time. 5/5⭐️ READ THIS BOOK!
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ARC/Netgalley

This book had an enjoyable story and I enjoyed the May family dynamics but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Fiction dealing with Native Americans and Westward expansion is complicated to say the least. I appreciate that the author went to great pains to research tribal details but in the end I do think it is a bit over romanticized. I know many fans of westerns will adore this book but it was hard for me to completely divorce myself from the problematic history to really enjoy it fully.  Recommended for Janette Oke, Sandra Dallas, Larry McMurtry
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I’m not familiar with American history, since I was raised overseas. But we did learn world history in school which included some American history. The Oregon trail was not a part of it, but the emigration to the west in search of gold was. So I pretty much dove into this book blind, very curious as to what I will find in the story. 

Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors and despite the fact that this is fiction, her depiction of historical events/facts/characters is so vivid that one cannot help it but believe every single word. 

I was immersed in this story in heart and soul. The Mays were endearing to me and I found myself thinking I was a part of that family. Naomi’s fierceness and bravery was a breath of fresh air amidst the females in that era. I just loved her strength and was rooting for her all the way. Her tragedy broke my heart but her resilience put it back together. John was just perfect. His self consciousness and mistrust towards people just depicts how kind and smart he was. 

My heart truly ached towards all Native Americans and how their lives were and how people treated them or how there were thought of. This story tells both sides I think, and it was honestly one of the best books I’ve read 2020.
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This was my first Amy Harmon’s book and wow this is honestly an amazing first impression! I love her writing style so much and there are a lot of feelings in every word. This book made me laugh and cry a lot and not a lot of books can do that to me. 
I love the pace of this book, it isn’t too slow and not rushed either so i could never get bored. The setting is so perfect, i can imagine all the beautiful landscapes! What i loved the most about this book is the characters, they are very dynamic and everyone has a clear personality which is really great. 
I loved this book and i’ll definitely be chceking more of Amy Harmon’s books!
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This is my favorite book of the year so far. The prologue gives a preview of what's to come, and to be honest I was tempted to peek ahead to see how things ended up. I'm glad I didn't. Once the story really got going, it was easy to slip into it and let it go at its own pace. The love story got better and better as the book went on. The historical details added to the story instead of bogging it down. I liked how the author depicted individuals of different races. There was good and bad everywhere, just like in real life.

I think some of these characters are going to stay with me for awhile. John Lowry is the kind of character that grows on you over the course of a story. Naomi was upfront about what she wanted and completely aware of her own worth. Naomi's little brothers, her mother Winifred, and Chief Washakie all stood out as well. It was a beautiful story. I'm glad I read it.
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I found this book an interesting love story.  The characters were all likable.  There were a few slow spots in the story that made it difficult to read at times.
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A truly unforgettable story, one that takes you into the heart of the Oregon Trail. The dirt, the struggle, the endless walking and riding combined with the camaraderie of the families moving together. The kinship of those together on this journey and their faith through each and every struggle. All of this in the background of Naomi and John Lowry, their story of love found along this empty landscape. Their characters came off the page as if they were truly people from history, ones who's stories have been passed along over generations. I cannot say enough how much this story stuck with me, long after I had set down my book. Amy Harmon writes with a fluidity that made the journey along the Oregon Trail feel just as real as the love between Naomi and John. I cannot wait to read the rest of her books!
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Love this book. The descriptive language of the landscape was beautifully written and painted a picture of the surroundings well. I love this time period and have read many on pioneering out west. I found this one historically accurate and although some scenes were violently grim, it didn’t go overboard which I appreciated. Some of the characters are based on real people and I enjoyed researching them more after. The story being that of love and family was beautiful and enjoyable. Highly recommend this book.
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