Tropes: Cross-country Western; historical
After finishing Amy Harmon’s Where the Lost Wander I had a lump of feelings sitting in my throat. This book beguiled me, pulling me in to a story about love and loss and love again both while reading it and in the months since. I haven’t forgotten it.
It’s 1853 and Naomi May is a young widow accompanying her large family to Oregon. The book opens with a group of Native Americans attacking Naomi’s party and Naomi watching as people she loves and has traveled with are struck down until it’s only her and her baby brother left.
From there, we’re taken back even further to the past, to the beginning of the journey west when Naomi meets John Lowry, the white and Pawnee man she was immediately drawn to but who resisted her efforts to befriend him—and more—every step of their trip.
Where the Lost Wander is an immersive experience, from the creaking of the wagon trains to Naomi’s mother’s wise words and the interaction of her loving, large family, to the tentative efforts of Naomi to reach out to John—known amongst Native Americans as Two Feet—and his efforts to box her out.
And the independent, feminist, loving Naomi has her own challenges, particularly those experiences that occur on the journey west. Her stunning resilience gives the book more vibrancy, and her relationship with John—their determination to reach each other—the staying power of a contemporary classic.
WTLW is out on 04/28. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Give me that HEA, please.
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