Where the Lost Wander
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.

Where the Lost Wander Details

TitleWhere the Lost Wander
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 28th, 2020
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Historical Romance, Westerns, Adult, Audiobook, Adventure, Adult Fiction

Where the Lost Wander Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, she did it again! Dear Amy Harmon turned me into an emotional trainwreck! I always tell myself before starting any of her books: “Nope! I’m not gonna cry! I’m gonna concentrate on funny things like my besties’ effort to squeeze her big butt into two size smaller jeans or my husband’s face expression when I serve him dinner.” But, I failed again! I dropped ugly, nasty, tormenting, vicious, dirty tears! I cannot stop myself! This book has epic, heart wrenching, memorable, beautiful, genuine, Yes, she did it again! Dear Amy Harmon turned me into an emotional trainwreck! I always tell myself before starting any of her books: “Nope! I’m not gonna cry! I’m gonna concentrate on funny things like my besties’ effort to squeeze her big butt into two size smaller jeans or my husband’s face expression when I serve him dinner.” But, I failed again! I dropped ugly, nasty, tormenting, vicious, dirty tears! I cannot stop myself! This book has epic, heart wrenching, memorable, beautiful, genuine, poignant story with its memorable, so easily likeable characters. You want to give them hug and meet with them in real life to befriend them. The pacing, the stunning, thought-provoking, violent, dark, realistic historical facts which crush our souls show the ugly face and shameful parts of humanity that we need to learn lessons and pass them to our next generations. She didn’t sugarcoat anything and tell directly, objectively those parts which break our hearts and ache more for beautiful souls of those amazing characters.Naomi is tough, determined, warrior soul to do whatever it takes to protect her family and build a life for them as John straddles between two worlds and cannot cope any of them. They fought, they hurt, they burned, they suffered, they cried, they struggled but they never gave up on each other.Bring out your napkins and set your ugly tears free, take your ticket for this fast pacing, mesmerizing, spell-binding, gripping, emotional, memorable journey.Normally I’m not a big fan of historical fictions but Kristin Hannah and Amy Harmon changed my idea made me lose myself into their books. This one is a BIG WINNER and get ready to go blind and feel the fantastic spirit of the story.Special thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for sharing this incredible books’ ARC COPY in exchange my honest review. And so much thanks to Amy Harmon who creates a heartbreaking symphonies with words for writing this wonderful book.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    thank goodness for this book - for showing that historical fiction can be so much more than a WWII story. whenever i think about the oregon trail, i will now remember of the hardships faced, the perseverance needed, the hope never lost, the heritage created, and the love that was found by the characters of this story. this is a story of believing in a better life and searching for it, no matter the trials. this is a story about finding oneself when many other lives have been lost. but most notic thank goodness for this book - for showing that historical fiction can be so much more than a WWII story. whenever i think about the oregon trail, i will now remember of the hardships faced, the perseverance needed, the hope never lost, the heritage created, and the love that was found by the characters of this story. this is a story of believing in a better life and searching for it, no matter the trials. this is a story about finding oneself when many other lives have been lost. but most noticeably, this is about finding a home within the heart of another person.i am so in love this story. a heartfelt thanks to lake union publishing for the ARC! <3↠ 5 stars
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  • Amy Harmon
    January 1, 1970
    Where the Lost Wander, an epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail is now available on Amazon in e-book, paperback, and audio.READ NOW: KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO He says he doesn’t want to dance,but that’s what we do.It’s just a different kind of dance.His mouth is pressed to mine,seeking and sinking.We move together and apart,all things working toward the same end.Or the same beginning.We are a circle of two. I’m good with the animals,I keep to myself, and I work Where the Lost Wander, an epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail is now available on Amazon in e-book, paperback, and audio.READ NOW: KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO He says he doesn’t want to dance,but that’s what we do.It’s just a different kind of dance.His mouth is pressed to mine,seeking and sinking.We move together and apart,all things working toward the same end.Or the same beginning.We are a circle of two. I’m good with the animals,I keep to myself, and I work hard.And if I look a little different,no one has ever made a big issue of it. I watch Naomi,she watches me,and a wagon train of tired people,gaunt-faced and blurry-eyes,watch us. Five hundred miles from where we began,the formations begin to rise up out of the earth,gnarled and notched,like ancient parapets washed in a layerof sand and time,abandoned castles that have becomepart of the landscape. READ NOW: KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIO Copyright © Amy Harmon WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | BOOKBUB | NEWSLETTER
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars"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."Wandering what to read next (See what I did there?) Look no further. Where the Lost Wander is a wonderful work of historical fiction that was inspired by real life people - John Lowry was the Author's husband five times great grandfather. I really enjoy when Authors can draw on their own personal real-life histories/stories to create fiction. This was done very nicely. I highl 4.5 stars"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."Wandering what to read next (See what I did there?) Look no further. Where the Lost Wander is a wonderful work of historical fiction that was inspired by real life people - John Lowry was the Author's husband five times great grandfather. I really enjoy when Authors can draw on their own personal real-life histories/stories to create fiction. This was done very nicely. I highly recommend reading the Author's note at the end.Naomi May, a widow at twenty, is on the Oregon Trail with her family, her deceased husband's family and others while trying to make it to California where they hope to have a better life. John Lowry. half-Pawnee is their guide. Naomi and John are drawn to each other as they all try to survive the harshness of the trail.John draws on his Pawnee heritage to help them along the trail, but will it be enough when tragedy strikes?This book had several things going for it - there is romance, there is a tale of survival, there is the element of people being strong and showing courage, there are those who face their fears to rise above and confront what they thought they never could, there are those baring their soles and sharing what it feels like to walk with one foot in two very different cultures, there is camaraderie and a sense of belonging, there is hope, there are tears, there is fear and there is happiness. The Author also paints a very vivid description of the trail and what those who were on the trail endured during that time. This was well written and researched. I felt as if I were on the trail with them as they desperately tried to reach California. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this one as will fans of the wild west. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.**Traveling Sister group read
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  • Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Harmon has joined us in the Behind the Pages group and has answered questions about her books, and writing process! She gave us some great insight into the story and characters and I love this one even moreTo view the threads and see what Amy Harmon has to say, you can find it here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...My review Giddy up! Make room on your TBR list for this daisy of a read!! I loved everything about this one!!Where the Lost Wander is a fast-paced adventure packed gorgeous Amy Harmon has joined us in the Behind the Pages group and has answered questions about her books, and writing process! She gave us some great insight into the story and characters and I love this one even moreTo view the threads and see what Amy Harmon has to say, you can find it here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...My review Giddy up! Make room on your TBR list for this daisy of a read!! I loved everything about this one!!Where the Lost Wander is a fast-paced adventure packed gorgeously written and insightful story with heart. Amy Harmon knows how to kick up a dust storm of emotions. The unforgettable characters are the most likable characters I have read in a story. The story is set on the Oregon Trail in 1853, where we are taken on a vividly written journey with this wagon train set for a better life.I was on pins and needles all through this one, fearing the danger and hardship of the trail and path taken for these characters. Amy Harmon doesn't sugarcoated things here however, through her powerful insight and wisdom to family, love and hardship she brings a quieter and hopeful tone to the story. The characters are the definition of courage, scared, but still, saddle up anyway. I feared for them and rooted for them.There is some romance here to warm up the story and I loved the bond between John & Naomi and it melted this non-romantic heart. The strength in this story for me is in the bond, and trust the character had with each other. They face uncertainty, hardship, tragedy, and find the strength within each other for survival. I highly recommend. I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley.
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  • Arini
    January 1, 1970
    This was so beautiful it hurt. “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.” I was fairly sure I would give it a three stars upon finishing it, and I had good enough reasons for that, namely:↠ The journey these characters went through was tragic and arduous.↠ The romance was underdeveloped.↠ The plot was slow moving because it took 70% of the book to get to the climax.HOWEVER, after sleeping on it for days, the more I t This was so beautiful it hurt. “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.” I was fairly sure I would give it a three stars upon finishing it, and I had good enough reasons for that, namely:↠ The journey these characters went through was tragic and arduous.↠ The romance was underdeveloped.↠ The plot was slow moving because it took 70% of the book to get to the climax.HOWEVER, after sleeping on it for days, the more I thought about it the more I appreciated the beauty of it all. “But . . . endurance . . . is a whole different kind of battle. It’s a hell of a lot harder. Don’t ever say you didn’t fight, because that’s never been true. Not one day of your whole life. You fought, Naomi. You’re still fighting.” I didn’t even know about the Oregon Trail until this book. Yes, travelling across the country on a wagon train with hundreds of other people for months was grueling. But that was part of why this story was fascinating. The author managed to present a believable depiction of what life might be like during one of the most significant historical moments in the US. The hardships, the hunger, the plague, the loss—it was all so raw, harrowing, and admirable at the same time.The romance was rushed, but it didn’t make the love story less delicate and emotional. John and Naomi were perfect for each other. Their scenes were sweet and romantic. Naomi’s family, especially the brothers, gave the book a warm and joyful feeling beneath all the bleakness of the situation. What befell them in this book was heartbreaking, but watching John and Naomi lost and found each other again and stick together through thick and thin was nothing short of awe inspiring. “Put your energy into rising above the things you can’t change, Naomi. Keep your mind right. And everything will work out for the best.” The book opened with a prologue that immediately hooked me in and gave me a sense of doom looming above my head. When the death blow was finally delivered, I was devastated and thrilled all at once. The last 30% was a rare kind of excitement that I lived for. At first, I wasn’t so keen on the writing because it felt like a lot more tells than shows despite the fact that it was done beautifully. But this ‘in media res’ storytelling technique was so compelling I couldn’t look away.The author’s portrayal of the Native Americans and white emigrants felt authentic. Obviously, I couldn’t speak for the accuracy of the authenticity, but I could tell it was well researched. The author even went on about it in her author’s note. Despite the book being a work of fiction, I felt like I learned so much through this experience. Not to mention, I was used to reading about the World War when it came to historical fictions that this book was such a breath of fresh air. “The hardest thing about life is knowing what matters and what doesn’t,” Winifred muses. “If nothing matters, then there’s no point. If everything matters, there’s no purpose. The trick is to find firm ground between the two ways of being.” This is the kind of story that you will love slowly but completely. It brings you back through time and generations. It sneaks up on you and takes residence in your heart. It opens your eyes to a part of history you might not have been aware before and makes you feel grateful of the life you have today. It’s profound and simply breathtaking. I would definitely recommend to those of you who fancy a historical fiction that is filled with adventure, love, heartache, and hope.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    The time is 1853 and the prologue of Where the Lost Wander throws us into a horrible massacre. It hurts to read it, even if we don't know these people, yet. And then we go back months in time and get to know the May family, a mother, father, fours sons and Naomi, the twenty year old daughter. Naomi is already a widow, her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, dying three months after their marriage. Daniel was supposed to be on this trip over the Oregon Trail but he's been dead for over a year and Naomi The time is 1853 and the prologue of Where the Lost Wander throws us into a horrible massacre. It hurts to read it, even if we don't know these people, yet. And then we go back months in time and get to know the May family, a mother, father, fours sons and Naomi, the twenty year old daughter. Naomi is already a widow, her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, dying three months after their marriage. Daniel was supposed to be on this trip over the Oregon Trail but he's been dead for over a year and Naomi hasn't even been able to really face that heartbreak, completely. It's in St Joseph, Missouri, where the May family purchases mules for their cross country trip, that Naomi first lays eyes on John Lowry. John is half white, half Pawnee, not feeling as if he belongs in either world, not sure if he's really wanted even though his white father's white wife treats him as her own child. John's mother died when he was eight but before she died, she brought John to his father to raise and his step mother, Jennie, has raised him into a fine, educated, gentleman. But John knows he doesn't fit in either world, white or Indian and he keeps an emotional distance from everyone. Still, he is attracted to Naomi and decides to continue on with the wagon train after he escorts it part of the way, after dropping off an order of mules. Every step of the trip is dangerous. Cholera, storms, dehydration, broken wagons, lack of food for humans and animals, attacks by Indians, the sometimes impassable trail, raging rivers, are just some of the perils along the way. Death is a given, so many in their party fall by the wayside or turn back. Decisions have to be made that are hard and often wrong. Naomi knows her heart and loves John but John can't even allow himself to think of a life with Naomi, when he knows having him in her life will always make things harder for Naomi because he is only part white. John also has a longing in his heart for his mother's people even though they don't want him because of his white half. As hard as the trip has been, there is the even bigger disaster of the massacre and Naomi and her baby brother have been taken by avenging Indians. John hopes to find her and both John and Naomi have to make impossible choices. John has made a promise to protect the May family and he will die trying to do so. It's amazing how well the author brings the characters to life, in this story, not just the May family but the Indians, who are dealing with their impossible struggles, too. My heart was torn the entire time I was reading this story, because this is our history and it's not pretty. I think all the people need to be remembered and this story puts a face to some of the people of this time in our history. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars! An unforgettable journey following a group of emigrants on the Oregon Trail. 1853: John Lowry, a half-white half-Pawnee man, leads a group of families across the rough terrain of the Oregon Trail. The families each have their own horses and wagon packed with all that they own heading to start a better life out West. The families depend on Lowry’s experience and expertise to get them through the unimaginably difficult landscape and hostile areas. Their trek is gruelling and strenuous, un 4 stars! An unforgettable journey following a group of emigrants on the Oregon Trail. 1853: John Lowry, a half-white half-Pawnee man, leads a group of families across the rough terrain of the Oregon Trail. The families each have their own horses and wagon packed with all that they own heading to start a better life out West. The families depend on Lowry’s experience and expertise to get them through the unimaginably difficult landscape and hostile areas. Their trek is gruelling and strenuous, unbearable at times. Their lives rest in the hands of Lowry to keep them safe and guided in the right direction.Such a wonderful novel! I loved learning about this time in our history. The exquisite writing engrossed me, pulling me deep into this part of history, making me feel an immediate connection to and investment in the characters and storyline. I knew nothing about this piece of history which is why I love reading historical fiction. The novel was extremely insightful, informative and enlightening, all while immersing the reader within an unforgettable tale. Endearing characters, atmospheric landscapes, thought provoking scenarios, heart breaking losses - this book has it all. My one tiny critique is that the last 20% felt a bit too drawn out for me.I enjoyed the animal aspect of this story and learned a lot about how mules and horses were so highly depended upon during these times. Crossing rivers (often the same river multiple times throughout the trek), surviving a variety of brutal weather, always having to remain “on guard”, pushing through the constant fear of the unknown that lies ahead — I felt all of these stresses right alongside the characters and animals. Please be warned, there are some awful scenes involving animals.The Authors Note at the end is powerful. To learn that much of this story is based on the authors family history makes it more impactful to me as a reader. Overall, I truly enjoyed this remarkable novel! It isn’t gripping or addictive, but a slow burn, beautifully written tale that needs to be savoured and not rushed.Thank you to NetGalley for my review copy!Expected date of publication: April 28, 2020.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Be still my heart! I adored this story about love and hardship on the Oregon trail. It's 1853 and wagons full of hardy, in some cases desperate, people and family headed West. The Mays were one such family, their daughter Naomi had been widowed and traveled with them. John Lowry was a half Pauite, whose mother as she was dying brought him to his white father to raise. The mules they train are renowned and fetch a hefty price. He originally is only planning to go so far and then turn back. Hi 4.5 Be still my heart! I adored this story about love and hardship on the Oregon trail. It's 1853 and wagons full of hardy, in some cases desperate, people and family headed West. The Mays were one such family, their daughter Naomi had been widowed and traveled with them. John Lowry was a half Pauite, whose mother as she was dying brought him to his white father to raise. The mules they train are renowned and fetch a hefty price. He originally is only planning to go so far and then turn back. His plans though will change when love comes aknockin.I enjoy reading about these men and women who risk everything for a new start. Such a rough and hazardous journey, yet so many went. I would probably have been one who says, just let me be, it's all good. So many deaths, from illness and starvation, Indian attacks and exhaustion. This book has it all, pain, love, Indian captives, and plucky characters a reader can't help but embrace. Naomi and John, such wonderful characters, couldn't help but root for them. Hope things would turn out well.In the authors note, Harmon tells us who and what this story was based on. So many people in this story were actual historic figures and yes, I admit it made the book even more special. I took to heart not just for this book but others I will read, this advice,"I hope the reader will experience the story in the spirit it was written, recognizing that who we are is not who they were, and judging historical people by today's standards prevents us from learning from them, from their mistakes and their triumphs."I did and I will. Terrific story, wise authors note.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books
    January 1, 1970
    MY REVIEW AND OTHERS: can also be found on my blog: ➽ KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS 'WHERE THE LOST WANDER:' Is a full length historical romance novel by Amy Harmon. Spoken in 'dual perspectives.' This is Naomi & John's story.Naomi May is a young widow travelling on a wagon train with her family heading out west. And John Lowry is the man leading this wagon train, a mule breeder, he's half white, and half indian with a name of 'Two Feet' meaning he has one foot in the white man's worl MY REVIEW AND OTHERS: can also be found on my blog: ➽ KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS 'WHERE THE LOST WANDER:' Is a full length historical romance novel by Amy Harmon. Spoken in 'dual perspectives.' This is Naomi & John's story.Naomi May is a young widow travelling on a wagon train with her family heading out west. And John Lowry is the man leading this wagon train, a mule breeder, he's half white, and half indian with a name of 'Two Feet' meaning he has one foot in the white man's world and one foot in the Indian's world. But never feeling as though he fitted in either side of the fence. John is a doer, a deep thinker, a man of few words, an observer. Naomi, is an artist, a nurturer, a dreamer. Together they are perfection.. God where to start, this was just utterly amazing! I simply adored this story..Real, raw, riveting..First off I loved the simplicity of this story being that there was Ωno added embellishment to make this believable, with this authors penmanship and her voice, I felt like I was there travelling this unforgiving territory traipsing through rough terrain seeking a place to call home, and that’s where the magic began as I sat here imagining all the people who had gone through unbelievable life changing circumstances like what were depicted in this story. The losses, the hardships, all made for a riveting pull on your heart strings kind of read. I was transported to another time, thrown headfirst into a prologue that forewarned me of what was to come. And as I raced through the pages experiencing their triumphs and heartache as though it were my own. I knew at some stage I'd be hitting an emotional game changer. This was such a profound heartbreaking beautiful journey that was beautiful and ugly rolled up into one big ball of adventure.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars1853 ..The Oregon TrailLife 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 Indian 4.5 stars1853 ..The Oregon TrailLife 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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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    Some books are just worth waiting for...... I saved this one for a a few days break away and it was the perfect road trip companion, an engaging and moving story of the harrowing journey our west in 1850s America, the hardships and struggles that befell the folks who took the Oregon Trail in order to find better lives for their families is extremely well depicted and beautifully written. I love the cover of this novel with the wagon trail heading off into the great unknown and its through books Some books are just worth waiting for...... I saved this one for a a few days break away and it was the perfect road trip companion, an engaging and moving story of the harrowing journey our west in 1850s America, the hardships and struggles that befell the folks who took the Oregon Trail in order to find better lives for their families is extremely well depicted and beautifully written. I love the cover of this novel with the wagon trail heading off into the great unknown and its through books like this we get a glimpse into the past and a feel for what life was like for the pioneers and their families. Where the Lost Wander is primarily a love story set on the Oregon Trail but it has a bite to it in terms of historical facts and information and it is inspired by the author’s ancestors and their stories. I loved the characters of John and Naomi and was rooting for them as they made their journey out west. I am not a fan of Historical romance Fiction and yet this worked for me as I love stories from the Wagon Train and this was a quick and entertaining listen and felt like the author had really done her research and the images of the landscape and settings were vivid and real which really added to my enjoyment of the story. I listened to this one on audio while I would have preferred a hard copy the narration is well done. An entertaining and enjoyable read that I think many readers who enjoy Historical Fiction/romance/pioneer stories will finding entertaining and enjoyable.
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    A novel which I found interesting mainly due to detailed descriptions of the Oregon Trail of which I am eager to learn more. The plot revolves around the brave people who decided to travel two thousand miles to seek better opportunities in new lands in the mid 19th century. While reading I was constantly googling pictures of the landmarks which the emigrants passed and I admit that this added to the intensity of the narration, which I appreciated a lot. The descriptions of daily challenges in th A novel which I found interesting mainly due to detailed descriptions of the Oregon Trail of which I am eager to learn more. The plot revolves around the brave people who decided to travel two thousand miles to seek better opportunities in new lands in the mid 19th century. While reading I was constantly googling pictures of the landmarks which the emigrants passed and I admit that this added to the intensity of the narration, which I appreciated a lot. The descriptions of daily challenges in the form of physical exhaustion, diseases and encounters with The Native Americans provide the readers with the idea what it was like to be one of those who left for a better life.*Many thanks to Amy Harmon, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    I’m only 37% into the book and already can tell it’s going to be a high starred read for me, maybe even my first 5 star book of the year.Old school western romance, but absolutely beautifully written. Stunning prose, and a plot that leaves me amazed! More to come...Update and full review:___________________________________I’ve read MANY historical western romance over the years, and the plot for Where the Lost Wander isn’t unique, it’s actually a fairly typical plot about a hero that is both, wh I’m only 37% into the book and already can tell it’s going to be a high starred read for me, maybe even my first 5 star book of the year.Old school western romance, but absolutely beautifully written. Stunning prose, and a plot that leaves me amazed! More to come...Update and full review:___________________________________I’ve read MANY historical western romance over the years, and the plot for Where the Lost Wander isn’t unique, it’s actually a fairly typical plot about a hero that is both, white and Native Indian, and a wagon train going west. But what makes this book so fantastic is that the author took the basics of a classic historical western romance and turned it into a beautiful work of art.The book was just STUNNING!!! Beautiful, raw, thoughtful, and touching.THE COMBINATION OF ALL OF THE ABOVE MADE FOR A COMPELLING, AND UNFORGETTABLE TALE.And I think what makes it stand out even more is the eye for historical detail, the feeling that these people were drawn from something more. It’s a love story, more than a romance and it comes deep from the heart. Naomi and John’s love for each other was palpable, and transcendent.Where the Lost Wander isn’t a steamy book. There is actually barely any sex at all in this book. Instead the romance goes much deeper, and the story follows this epic but also at times tragic journey across America, on a wagon train where many will never reach their destination. 1850’s wasn’t a kind period for settlers. Battles between the natives and the settlers, sickness and disease ravaged the country. This book is real, raw and feels entirely authentic.I fell in love with both, Naomi and John. Both were steadfast, and grounded people. Knowing what they wanted, but also aware of repercussions, and expectations. Naomi had in someway an easier time because she was widowed and had the freedom to chose John without having to worry about what people thought. John, was more circumspect. He knew what it meant to live as neither, fully white, nor fully native. He walked as both but also lived in neither. And he didn’t want Naomi to feel the same. So he had thoughts. I liked that he was a thinker, quiet, peaceful, and hardworking. Naomi was the dreamer, artist, carer. They matched so well, and completed the other in a most touching way.This book was everything a historical western romance should be. Incredibly well researched, characters that were likable and genuine, and a plot that had heart and soul.Warning: If you have never read a historical western romance before, please be aware that the relationship between whites and Native Indian’s was volatile and rape of woman was unfortunately something that occurred.___________________________________I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blogFollow me on Bookstagram
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  • Penny Reid
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Harmon is my favorite author because she never, never, never lets me down. It is obvious that she puts pieces of her heart and soul into every title and the world is a better place for her effort and artistry.I've been putting off reading this book until I felt like I really, really needed an exceptional read. The last few months have been difficult, the last week even more so. Therefore, I knew it was time to crack open my epic-read rations. I so enjoyed getting lost and wandering around in Amy Harmon is my favorite author because she never, never, never lets me down. It is obvious that she puts pieces of her heart and soul into every title and the world is a better place for her effort and artistry.I've been putting off reading this book until I felt like I really, really needed an exceptional read. The last few months have been difficult, the last week even more so. Therefore, I knew it was time to crack open my epic-read rations. I so enjoyed getting lost and wandering around in this fantastic tale of struggle, sacrifice, love, and perseverance. If you loved 'Lonesome Dove' (which is one of my top 5 favorite books of all time) then you'll love 'Where the Lost Wander.' As usual with Amy Harmon books:1. The characters are flawed and feel real.2. You'll feel swept away and inspired.3. You won't be able to put it down.Thank you, Amy, for making my days better. You make a difference in the world.
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  • Hulya Kara Yuksel
    January 1, 1970
    Wow I'm speechless! This was an amazing journey... ❤This was my 11th book of Ms.Harmon and she always takes me to another places. Her stories always warms my heart and I always feel that amazing connection between the main characters. So long story short, Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend this book to you. ❤Expected publication: April 28th 2020 ***ARC provided by NetGalley. “I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me,” Naomi whispers after a time, and I brush Wow I'm speechless! This was an amazing journey... ❤This was my 11th book of Ms.Harmon and she always takes me to another places. Her stories always warms my heart and I always feel that amazing connection between the main characters. <3So long story short, Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend this book to you. ❤Expected publication: April 28th 2020 ***ARC provided by NetGalley. “I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me,” Naomi whispers after a time, and I brush my lips across hers once more before I make myself stop.“I missed you.” Her eyes search mine.“I didn’t go anywhere.”“You haven’t even looked at me for the last ninety miles.” ❤
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  • AMY (Ah-mei) ♔♔Queen of fat cats, Professional ebook hoarder♔♔
    January 1, 1970
    ♥ UPDATE ♥ 4/28/2020 3:12 fangirling mode activated!!!GUYS!!! This. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!I repeatThis. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!This. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!It's LIVE, IT'S LIVE!!! Live and already on top of the charts!!! So happy for Harmon-sensei!Even better it's For all of us in the KU elite!! We look all smug now!! SMUG 'cuz it's FREE for us!!BUDDY READ WITH THE WONDERFUL QT'SThe QT's are here, we're gonna buddy read this in the next few weeks ....we are so coordinated.The QT's:Elisa's 45% U ♥ UPDATE ♥ 4/28/2020 3:12 fangirling mode activated!!!GUYS!!! This. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!I repeatThis. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!This. Is. NOT. A. Drilling!!!It's LIVE, IT'S LIVE!!! Live and already on top of the charts!!! So happy for Harmon-sensei!Even better it's For all of us in the KU elite!! We look all smug now!! SMUG 'cuz it's FREE for us!!BUDDY READ WITH THE WONDERFUL QT'SThe QT's are here, we're gonna buddy read this in the next few weeks ....we are so coordinated.The QT's:Elisa's 45% UpdateAmy-chan - Queen of Fat Cats QT 14%Michelle 8%Michelle 28%Michelle 38%Michelle 68%Finished RTCAPRIL updateshttps://www.goodreads.com/user_status...https://www.goodreads.com/user_status...https://www.goodreads.com/user_status...♥♥ ♥♥ ♥♥-Elisa - Princess of the Evening Stars QT Full reviewApril chan - Queen of Galaxies QTLaura Elizabeth - Periogi Princess QTParvati Patil - Beauxbatons Camaraderie QTMichelle Nguyen - Mystic Princess QTAmy-chan - Queen of Fat Cats QT Full reviewWanna be a QT? You don't need to be my friend just...♥Read our rules♥♥Sign in by saying AYE!!!♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥UPDATE♥ 4/28/2020 It's 1:30 a.m and book isn't live yet. I stayed up waiting for the book to be live. This is so exciting!!! I can't waitOur buddy read is taking shape!♥♥♥°°♥♥♥ ♥♥♥°°♥♥♥ ♥♥♥°°♥♥♥PREVIOUS POSTGUUUUUYYYYYSSSSSSS! April 28 2020 is around the corner for this sure-to-be-AMYzing historical romance. WOULD YOU BUDDY READ WITH ME?I need Historical romance QT's to join our buddy read!! Join the coolest and cutest (if I say so myself) non-official Buddy read group in GoodreadsThe incomparable:*drums playing dramatically*Q-T's (pronounced cuties)*covers ears due to deafening ovation*We're going to be reading the new Historical romance by the most versatile author ever: MRS. AAAAMYYY HAAAAAARMON SEEEEEENSEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIII!!!!!*covers ears due to deafening ovation* Join our BR starting on April 28th. I'll link all your updates and reviews to my own and we can read a cool book and share our thoughts among us preventing spoilers, ARC reviews (ugh), difamatory reviews, paid reviews, fighting, trolls and covid 19. We'll fill out a review form and feel free to share our honest thoughts without worries, this is for us real readers who pay for our books.INVITATION IS OPEN TO EVERYONE, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND. You don't have to sign up to any group or do anything to be included All you have to do is say aye. Comments and likes during BR appreciated but not required but we'll require honesty and a fill out form.So who wants to join the Q-T's and buddy read with us?Vote in favor of joining our BR saying AYE!!!!♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥--♥♥EDIT Elisa, April and Laura Elizabeth joined the BR!!! They're such QT's!!! Anyone else??♥♥♥Original pre-reading thoughts♥♥♥GUUUUUUYYYYSSSSS!!! I haven't read it yet, but all books by Harmon sensei are AMYZING, like you could pick a paragraph at random and the writing would be AWESOMETACULARYou can preorder!!! APRIL 28TH 2020I rarely read historical, but it's Harmon sensei so I can't wait.!!You haven't read Harmon sensei yet?? What are you waiting for!!! Join the KU elite!!! We're the elite group in goodreads, we read the best books for a small monthly fee, discover new authors all the time and we still have money to purchase more and more books.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.Amy Harmon does it again and I can’t even say I’m surprised. She’s a dynamic writer, with each book being better than the last. Where the Lost Wander may be my new favorite of hers. I’m certain this book will be at the top of my list of favorites for 2020. The word that comes to mind as I reflect on this book is: rich. The writing, the storytelling, the characters, the pacing, literally every facet of the book is exquisitely done.One of my favorite things about hi Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.Amy Harmon does it again and I can’t even say I’m surprised. She’s a dynamic writer, with each book being better than the last. Where the Lost Wander may be my new favorite of hers. I’m certain this book will be at the top of my list of favorites for 2020. The word that comes to mind as I reflect on this book is: rich. The writing, the storytelling, the characters, the pacing, literally every facet of the book is exquisitely done.One of my favorite things about historical fiction is being sucked back in time as if I’m actually there myself. Unfortunately, many books within this genre do not possess the ability to transport me back. Sometimes the history gets too heavy, making the plot drag. Though I love pioneering stories, I thought this tale might have a tendency to drag as slowly as the oxen pulling the wagons. Boy, was I wrong in my assumption! Where the Lost Wander had no lulls — I was sucked in as I read the very first page and was torn between eagerly reading and slowly savoring this book. It was one I didn’t want to end and I knew I would have the most epic of book hangovers after finishing.As always, after finishing Amy’s books I’m at a loss for words. I want to do the book the justice it deserves, but my language is inadequate. There are numerous life lessons, beautiful sentiments, and emotional moments within this story. It pulled deep feelings from me and had me in tears by the end of the book. Sometimes blogging and reading can feel like a chore, with the special books coming fewer and farther between, but this was exactly the type of novel to reignite my love of reading.I especially loved that the story didn’t sugarcoat the brutality of this time in history and the hardship of being a pioneering family. Amy’s author’s note in the end made me further realize how often we try to reshape history to make us feel more comfortable in our modern lives. Whether we agree with the past, it’s not our duty to rewrite the story. We should accept it as is, and if anything, it should make us better today.I eagerly recommend all of Amy’s books to anyone and everyone, but this one is at the top of the stack. You won’t want to miss this evocative journey! It’s arguably Amy’s best work to date.Reread: Aug. 9, 2020 💙
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  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks To Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and Amy Harmon for my copy of: Where The Lost Wander.In 1853, twenty year old widow Naomi May Caldwell joins her family when they decide to travel West on The Overland Trail and begin the long trip go to Oregon. Her parents are William and Winifred May, her older brother Warren and his wife Abigail and her brothers Wyatt, Webb, and Will are all traveling together.Grant Abbott is the wagon master, he's in charge of guiding the 40 families along the trail Thanks To Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and Amy Harmon for my copy of: Where The Lost Wander.In 1853, twenty year old widow Naomi May Caldwell joins her family when they decide to travel West on The Overland Trail and begin the long trip go to Oregon. Her parents are William and Winifred May, her older brother Warren and his wife Abigail and her brothers Wyatt, Webb, and Will are all traveling together.Grant Abbott is the wagon master, he's in charge of guiding the 40 families along the trail, it will take five months and it's a 2000 mile journey. It's not going to be easy, most of the women and children will need to walk to ease the burden on the oxen, they will have to deal with dirt, dust, snakes, insects and diseases. They will need to ford rivers and cross mountains and barren deserts, worry about Indians attacking the wagon train and stealing their livestock.Naomi was only married to her husband Daniel Caldwell for three months when he passed away, yes she mourned her husbands death, she cried, she was consumed by grief, traveling West is a way of her starting again and leaving the sad memories behind her. She's pretty, smart, has spunk, loves her family and she's a very talented artist. She has a very close relationship with her family, especially her mother, even though her in laws are traveling west on the same wagon train she has decided to travel with her family and help her pregnant mother.Following the tracks of the previous wagons, heavily pregnant Winifred May notices the first of many graves on the side of the road on the fifth day of traveling, she continues walking and she knows it's going to be a long and very dangerous trip.Traveling part of the way with them is the handsome John Lowry, he's delivering mules to an army fort, Naomi notices John is different, he sets off riding his horse, leading his two donkeys and twelve mules and he shows very little emotion when he leaves his father John and step mother Jennie behind? John is actually part Indian his mother was Pawnee and he's always struggled with finding his place in the world and he's a loner. His strong features, tanned skin and dark hair are things about himself that he can't change, Naomi likes him, she finds him very attractive and has no issues with him being part Indian.It becomes very obvious that Naomi and John are very interested in each other?John is very cautious as he knows being part Indian and being seen with a white lady can only cause grief and trouble for him. Unfortunately the group of pioneers do experience tragedy, heart breaking loss and danger as they travel West. But they also experience joy, the birth of new baby and the sweetness of new love. Amy Harmon has a way with words, while reading the book it's very easy to be swept away by the story and you feel like you are traveling with them. You can almost hear the sounds of the animals plodding along, harnesses creaking, wheels screeching, the foot steps of the women and children as they walk, how weary they feel, how they long for a decent meal, fresh vegetables and a hot bath!I absolutely loved Where The Lost Wander, I enjoy reading historical fiction about pioneering families traveling to Oregon, this is one of the best books I have read, I highly recommend it and I gave it five stars. I have shared my review on Goodeads, NetGalley, Twitter, Australian Amazon, Kobo and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, Amy Harmon, I don't know how you do it, but once again you take history (based on ancestors from your family tree), and make it so relatable that I feel every emotion as strongly as if I were experiencing it firsthand. You are truly the master of historical fiction! I loved everything about this book. The prologue immediately takes your breath away, with a horrific murder and capture of the protagonist, Naomi, by a band of Indian warriors. The book then goes back in time several months, with Oh, Amy Harmon, I don't know how you do it, but once again you take history (based on ancestors from your family tree), and make it so relatable that I feel every emotion as strongly as if I were experiencing it firsthand. You are truly the master of historical fiction! I loved everything about this book. The prologue immediately takes your breath away, with a horrific murder and capture of the protagonist, Naomi, by a band of Indian warriors. The book then goes back in time several months, with a large wagon train preparing to leave behind all that they know in Missouri, headed for a new life in California. This is where we meet Naomi and John and most of the other characters. I adored Naomi and John's story - their characters are unforgettable, but I actually also loved quite a few of the secondary characters as well, as they each significantly contributed to the plot and were memorable in their own way. I've long been fascinated with stories of wagon trains, and this book is a brilliant portrayal of just how incredibly hard it was for those on the trail, including the fragile relationship at that time between Indian tribes and settlers. The hardships faced on the trail are almost inconceivable today, with wagons being swept away in rushing rivers, sickness wiping out entire families (although the cholera epidemic described was reminiscent of what we are currently experiencing, except it was truly survival of the fittest), babies born and dying along the way, families being left behind to fend for themselves when wagons broke down, etc. It was all very sobering, but somehow throughout all of the despair, Harmon also weaves a beautiful tale of love and resilience among this band of settlers. Such a heartbreakingly beautiful tale of love, loss, and survival. Harmon has a gift of painting a picture with her words and crafting a story in a way that so few others can do. If you are feeling bad for yourself and your situation right now, pick up this book, get lost in it, and learn from it. It really did wonders for my own perspective. All the stars for this one!
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  • Lucia
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 STARS Amy Harmon at her best! This is my 4th book by this author and I am sure of one thing after reading it - Amy Harmon can really write. Her prose is beautiful, flow of this story is well-paced and her characters are real-like and fleshed out. Moreover, with this novel, she proves that she is great author of historical fiction. Firstly What the Wind Knows and now Where the Lost Wander. It was clear that Amy Harmon did her research well and provided detailed depiction of given historical p 4.5 STARS Amy Harmon at her best! This is my 4th book by this author and I am sure of one thing after reading it - Amy Harmon can really write. Her prose is beautiful, flow of this story is well-paced and her characters are real-like and fleshed out. Moreover, with this novel, she proves that she is great author of historical fiction. Firstly What the Wind Knows and now Where the Lost Wander. It was clear that Amy Harmon did her research well and provided detailed depiction of given historical period (she didn't shy away from any drastic parts that were common for crossing Oregon Trail in 19th century) and brought it alive for me. It's the ability that I really treasure in authors of this genre and with this novel, Amy Harmon secured firm place among authors that I read automatically when they release new book. At the end of the book, she even states which characters were real historical figures and what writing libirties she did or did not take to write their story. I loved that! "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." Now to the story. I have always had this fascination with stories/movies featuring Native Americans so Amy Harmon hit the mark with this novel for me. Thanks to lush writing style and captivating storytelling, Where the Lost Wander turned out ot be very powerful historical novel with strong romantic element. Romance wasn't the sole focus of this story which I was grateful for because I tend to get bored when book is focused only on romance. There were so many other things going on and important topics being discussed, so no, I would not call this historical romance in its traditional meaning. But even though romance wasn't the most important part of this book, it was still very potent and realistic. Chemistry between John and Naomi was very strong and believable, I truly rooted for them to be together from the very beginning till the end of the book. Author didn't go easy on them (at all !!!) so there was not a single boring moment throughout the whole book when it comes to romance.I enjoyed this novel thoroughly and cannot wait for more historical fiction by Amy Harmon!*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*
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  • Jennifer Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve tried... Dnf - 50 percent I adore this author both personally and professionally. I went back into it several times and it’s just not holding my attention.
  • Curlyhairlass19
    January 1, 1970
    “My mother’s people called me Two Feet. One white foot, one Pawnee foot, but I am not split down the middle, straddling two worlds. I am simply a stranger in both.”The ache that I feel in my heart after finishing this masterpiece is very real. John “Two Feet” Lowry & Naomi “many faces” May just took the pieces of my broken heart, and carefully mended it back together. I always walk away from reading one of Amy’s books feeling as though I’ve had an education. I became fully immersed in this rich, “My mother’s people called me Two Feet. One white foot, one Pawnee foot, but I am not split down the middle, straddling two worlds. I am simply a stranger in both.”The ache that I feel in my heart after finishing this masterpiece is very real. John “Two Feet” Lowry & Naomi “many faces” May just took the pieces of my broken heart, and carefully mended it back together. I always walk away from reading one of Amy’s books feeling as though I’ve had an education. I became fully immersed in this rich, heart twisting love story. “With John it is an ever-present ache, and he makes me want to find it..”John Lowry is my new favorite hero. Feeling torn between two races, and not fitting into either one, Amy does a brilliant job at allowing us to really see and feel the struggle that he faces as an Indian man trying to fit into a white world. Words simply cannot do this character justice in my opinion. You just have to read and find out for yourself.Naomi May, what a phenomenal heroine. I love everything about her. She is a go getter, totally selfless, speaks her mind, and knows what she wants. John Lowry. She makes zero apologies for it, and it throws John for a loop!“My dresses are worn out. My shoes too. I don’t have a husband or a home or even my own pots and pans. I don’t have much,” I say again, “but I have my pride. And I am not going to beg.”This was an epic love story, but it definitely doesn’t come easy. The angst is real, and I was so captivated with the turn of each page. The brutality of that time between the Indians and the white people was so harsh, but Amy does such a beautiful job writing with such grace and thoughtfulness in every detail. I can’t wait to reread this book very soon. 6 stars!!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction that moves at the speed of wagon trains. But given the time period, it's hard to avoid. Admittedly, it was a challenge staying engaged and invested at first, but the story does pick up speed once climactic emotions get involved in the last 1/3 of the book. It's Amy Harmon so you know there will be big feels. Again, Harmon incorporates personal family history as a way to pay tribute to the generations of the past which I always find admirable. If you enjoy a variety of historic Historical fiction that moves at the speed of wagon trains. But given the time period, it's hard to avoid. Admittedly, it was a challenge staying engaged and invested at first, but the story does pick up speed once climactic emotions get involved in the last 1/3 of the book. It's Amy Harmon so you know there will be big feels. Again, Harmon incorporates personal family history as a way to pay tribute to the generations of the past which I always find admirable. If you enjoy a variety of historical romance settings and/or the wagon train era in general, consider checking out Where the Lost Wander.My favorite quote:"The hardest thing about life is knowing what matters and what doesn't..."Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Where the Lost Wander. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.Source: NetGalleyAuthor: Amy HarmonPublisher: Lake Union Publishing Genres: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction Pub Date: April 28, 2020Quotes have been checked against the final published edition.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Harmon has certainly become a go-to author for me in recent years and I loved her tale of two young people that learn a lot about love and forgiveness in this wagon train tale. As I have said many times before, I love a good wagon train tale. Hooked right from the beginning, Amy Harmon illustrates the hardships and dangers of life as families leave the comfort of what they know to venture into the unknown. From the moment that Naomi May casts her eyes on John Lowry, the young widow dreams kc Amy Harmon has certainly become a go-to author for me in recent years and I loved her tale of two young people that learn a lot about love and forgiveness in this wagon train tale. As I have said many times before, I love a good wagon train tale. Hooked right from the beginning, Amy Harmon illustrates the hardships and dangers of life as families leave the comfort of what they know to venture into the unknown. From the moment that Naomi May casts her eyes on John Lowry, the young widow dreams kc the life they can have together. But John, the son of a Native mother and white father, is not convinced that he and Naomi belong together. After all, John has lived his entire life straddling two worlds and not feeling he is wanted in either..When tragedy strikes and the two are separated, will Naomi and John find their way back to one another. This is no mere love story and it encompasses family, forgiveness, and identity. There are great characters and Harmon truly made me feel I was out there in the cold struggling to cross the river and shake out the wet from my clothes. I think fans will certainly rejoice with the author's latest. Goodreads review published 13/04/20Expected publication. 28/04/20Thanks to NetGalley and LakeUnion Publishing for an arc in exchange for an honest review
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Where The Lost Wander, by Amy Harmon, is an epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail. This is the story of Naomi May and John Lowry as they make the trek by wagon train to the west coast in the early 1850's. Fraught with hardship, fear and death the trials of their journey work to keep them apart.A wonderfully descriptive setting and cast of characters held me in awe with their resilience.Not normally a fan of western historical fiction I am so glad and thankful to have read this nov Where The Lost Wander, by Amy Harmon, is an epic and haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail. This is the story of Naomi May and John Lowry as they make the trek by wagon train to the west coast in the early 1850's. Fraught with hardship, fear and death the trials of their journey work to keep them apart.A wonderfully descriptive setting and cast of characters held me in awe with their resilience.Not normally a fan of western historical fiction I am so glad and thankful to have read this novel.Heartbreaking and thrilling "Where The Lost Wander" is not to be missed!Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    5 stunning starsIt is so easy to give this book 5 stars, I enjoyed every moment that I spent in this story. Picture the 1850s, Conestoga wagons packed with belongings, a mule man, families heading west, Indians, forts, illness, and characters that I did not want to say goodbye to at the end of the book. This was an emotional journey that was storytelling at its finest for me. If this sounds like something you would like, I highly recommend this one!A group “train” of travelers sets out from Miss 5 stunning starsIt is so easy to give this book 5 stars, I enjoyed every moment that I spent in this story. Picture the 1850s, Conestoga wagons packed with belongings, a mule man, families heading west, Indians, forts, illness, and characters that I did not want to say goodbye to at the end of the book. This was an emotional journey that was storytelling at its finest for me. If this sounds like something you would like, I highly recommend this one!A group “train” of travelers sets out from Missouri not knowing how difficult the journey might be as they head west. About half are bound for Oregon and the other half are heading to California and they start out on the Overland Trail. The main family is the May family – parents, three boys, and a recently widowed adult daughter, Naomi. John Lowry is guiding the group, a half-Pawnee/half-white man, who does not feel welcome in either world. John and his father run a mule business in Missouri and frequently outfit the groups heading out. John turns out to be the right person to have along on the trip as he knows just how to get the animals to cross the myriad of rivers they need to cross, speak to Indian tribes, and be a steady force on the trip.Naomi is one of my favorite characters in the book, she is headstrong, an artist, and knows what she wants out of life. She is captivated by John and their relationship develops on the journey although not everyone thinks they have a future.This story has all my favorite elements: a believable love story, overcoming adversity, strong historical elements that are researched, strong characters that I root for, and a great setting.This is my first read from this author, although I have at least two of hers on my “to be read” list. Reading this one and loving it will easily move those up the list. The author’s note at the end is not be missed and I learned that this is based on real characters, some from the author’s own family line. My thanks to NetGalley, Amy Harmon, and Lake Union Publishing for the copy of this one to read in return for an honest review. This one is out soon -- 4.28.2020.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I have a new favorite read for this year so far. This was such a beautifully written book. Have tissues nearby because you will be brought to tears throughout. I really fell in love with so many of the characters but especially loved the two main ones. I loved Naomi's character - she was strong and brave and not afraid to do what needed to be done. She loved fiercely. I loved how she used her ability to draw as a way to help her obtain necessities and gain favor with the Indians when needed and I have a new favorite read for this year so far. This was such a beautifully written book. Have tissues nearby because you will be brought to tears throughout. I really fell in love with so many of the characters but especially loved the two main ones. I loved Naomi's character - she was strong and brave and not afraid to do what needed to be done. She loved fiercely. I loved how she used her ability to draw as a way to help her obtain necessities and gain favor with the Indians when needed and also as a protection and escape to deal with hurt and grief and anger. I loved John and his struggle between the white man and the Indians, never really feeling like he belonged. I can't imagine living in 1853 traveling with a wagon train out west and having to deal with the hardships that came along with that. I really appreciated the author's perspectives on both the pioneers and the Indians. It was very balanced and fair and showed life from both sides. The writing was so detailed that I could picture everything with clarity and felt myself alongside the characters. I loved that it is historical fiction and included factual people along with the fictional story. It is hard to let this one go and I know it will be one that sticks with me. The authors notes at the end are a must read. They add nice insight into the writing of the book.
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  • Tahera
    January 1, 1970
    "It's worth it you know.""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.""In my dreams, a big white bird lifts off the water in a great flapping of wings. As the bird rises, he sprouts the body of a man, and his wings are a feathered headdress. In my dream, the bird turned man walks on the water... like Jesus in the Bible... until he reaches the shore. The man has John Lowry's face. I'm not sure what it means, Naomi, but I’ve bee "It's worth it you know.""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.""In my dreams, a big white bird lifts off the water in a great flapping of wings. As the bird rises, he sprouts the body of a man, and his wings are a feathered headdress. In my dream, the bird turned man walks on the water... like Jesus in the Bible... until he reaches the shore. The man has John Lowry's face. I'm not sure what it means, Naomi, but I’ve been having that dream long before I ever met John Lowry.""Put your energy into rising above the things you can't change, Naomi. Keep your mind right. And everything will work out for the best.""Even if there's pain along the way?""Especially if there's pain along the way," Mama says firmly. This is my first time reading Amy Harmon and I now get the hype! This book is beautifully written describing the raw, honest, heart breaking and heart warming emotions and plights of the people who choose to leave everything behind to create a new existence in the West in the 1850s, their journey of hope and despair on the Oregon trail, the delicate relationship of co-existence between the white emigrants/people and the different Indian tribes and the story of one Naomi May who dares to defy conventions to fall in love with John Lowry, a man who is fighting his own battle of identity and acceptance in the two worlds which he belongs to and yet is a stranger to both.My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher Lake Union Publishing and the author for the e-Arc of the book.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    5 heartfelt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️How do I begin to try to tell you how much I loved this? I. Loved. This. Amy Harmon tells such wonderful stories! They are laced with humanity at its best and worst. Characters to love and hate. This had me constantly hold my breath, clenching my stomach, while I sat on the edge of my seat. The story moved me in such a way that I couldn’t think about anything else for hours. I loved the romance between John Lowry and Naomi. It’s a beautiful historical fiction about wagon tr 5 heartfelt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️How do I begin to try to tell you how much I loved this? I. Loved. This. Amy Harmon tells such wonderful stories! They are laced with humanity at its best and worst. Characters to love and hate. This had me constantly hold my breath, clenching my stomach, while I sat on the edge of my seat. The story moved me in such a way that I couldn’t think about anything else for hours. I loved the romance between John Lowry and Naomi. It’s a beautiful historical fiction about wagon trains trying to get to California in 1853 and I couldn’t put down. Of course this story is so much more and I highly recommend it. The authors writing just gets better and better. ♥️I’ve already read lots of great books this year but this might be my favorite of 2020. Please don’t miss reading this one! This was a NETGALLEY gift from the publisher and I’ve given my honest review. All opinions are my own. Just some of my favorite quotes: “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.”“I don’t have to see death to know it exists, Naomi,” Ma says. “I gotta keep my mind right. I don’t have any strength for fear or sadness right now, so I’m just gonna walk on by, and I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell me what you see.”“Put your energy into rising above the things you can’t change, Naomi. Keep your mind right. And everything will work out for the best.” “Even if there’s a lot of pain along the way?” “Especially if there’s pain along the way,” Mama says firmly.“You can’t take the blame for what other men do. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know the why of it. But I know this—you saved your brother, and you kept your head. I’m proud of you.”
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