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Where the Lost Wander

af Amy Harmon

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1605134,661 (4.14)Ingen

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Viser 5 af 5
Saddle up to a couch cushion and don’t forget your box of tissues because you’re going to need ‘em! A fascinating journey, and an emotional odyssey, the kernel for this tale began with the captivating account of an ancestor, John Lowry, who was the 5x great grandfather of Harmon’s spouse – a man with an unusual mixed heritage of a Pawnee Native American mother and a “white” father.

Hop on the wagon train as they navigate the Oregon Trail from Missouri across the mid-1800’s landscape toward a free land grant and a new start in California. Along the way, you’ll fall in love with spunky, young, widow Naomi May, with her zest for life and creative spirit, as well and the stoic, practical, muleteer John Lowry who’s looking to strike out on his own for the first time. Not to mention the rest of the May family with its passel of sons, Naomi’s quirky former in-laws, and a whole gaggle of personalities bumping along together in the wagon train.

This wouldn’t be yarn about the Oregon Trail, however, without danger around every river bend – imperilment from wild animals, clashes with a Native American tribe or two, and subversion by fellow pilgrims. Your heart will yearn for Naomi and John, who are inexplicably drawn to each other from their first meeting back in Missouri, and you’ll breathlessly read on to see if their budding attachment can survive the tests thrown at them by “the trail”.

Harmon is fairly solid at capturing the culture and language of 1850’s America, something she admits was a struggle for her and was at times very uncomfortable. I can say with confidence that she has hit the mark more squarely than any other modern author (1980’s or later) that I’ve encountered, a feat that is impressive, at the least. That said, while I do realize the challenges of the modern writer in today’s culture of hyper-presentism, the 21st Century feminist and racial outlooks did still bleed through from time to time. In that regard, I leave you with the thought-provoking words of the author herself from the Author’s Note on page 339: “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. These people helped build the framework that we now stand on. We should be careful about burning it down.”

Where the Lost Wander is A Once Upon a Book Club section (May 2020). Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author whose works have been published in 18 languages. ( )
  Desiree_Reads | Aug 31, 2021 |
Why don't authors of, especially, historical fiction put their "Notes" before, rather than after, the story? Most seem to follow some rule that author "Notes" go at the end.

WHERE THE LOST WANDER follows that seeming rule. But I learned through experience to check the back of the book for "Notes" so learned right away that two characters in the book really did exist. Knowing this while I read it made the story more interesting.

Most of WHERE THE LOST WANDER is about members of a wagon train headed west for California, told from the viewpoints of Naomi and John. Naomi is traveling with her family and one of the wagons; John, part White, part Indian, did not intend to go all the way to California but changes his mind. Naomi and John take turns telling the story of their trip, incidents that happen along the way. That is until their experiences are no longer with the wagon train.

By the second half of WHERE THE LOST WANDER, Naomi and John have married. One of Naomi's little brothers accidentally kills an Indian. The Indians retaliate by attacking the wagon train and taking Naomi and her newborn baby brother prisoner. Now this book is more than just incidents.

Will John be able to find Naomi? Can they get the baby back? ( )
  techeditor | May 13, 2021 |
The basic premise of this novel: a romance blooms between a young widowed woman and a mixed race, Native American man, while enduring the hardships of the Oregon Trail. Although I am not a huge fan of the historical romance genre, I didn't mind it so much in this book. My reason for rating this less than 4 stars more has to do with the last third of the book. I felt the author went down a path that presented most interactions between Native American tribes and white settlers in a stereotypical manner. It would have been refreshing for the story to take an unexpected turn or for a new perspective on historical events to be presented.

Final rating: 3.5 stars. This is a decently written novel and it held my attention. The latter parts of the story just ruined it for me. ( )
  This-n-That | Nov 9, 2020 |
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. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jun 29, 2020 |
Where the Lost Wander is historical fiction written during the westward movement in American history. I have always been most fascinated by this time period and have personally traveled along the Platte River and into Wyoming following the trail described in this book. Having seen the terrain and the landmarks described in this book myself I was easily able to imagine the trials of the pioneers and their wagon train. The details of the book were well researched and written beautifully. The characters of John, Naomi, and the May family were believable and I was drawn into their struggles, sorrows, and joys. I commend the author for not shying away from the difficult topics and hardships that pioneers on the trails west faced, however these incidents will be difficult for some readers.
I give thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this book and offer my unbiased opinion. ( )
  sdbookhound | Jan 12, 2020 |
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