What It’s About:
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.Goodreads
On the Trail
My favorite thing about Where the Lost Wander was that it had a little bit of everything. There was adventure, romance, drama, action, and comedy. I rarely read books during this time period or setting. But I am so glad that took a chance on this book! The pacing of the story had a nice variety that made the journey an interesting one. I liked learning about the different kinds of people, hard work, and daily life of a wagon train headed West.
This book leans more to the romance side of historical fiction. The story is told in the alternating first person perspectives of John and Naomi. Reading the story from this point of view made the experience more immersive. It definitely gave the characters room to shine. I loved watching their relationship bloom and the fierce commitment they had for each other. Throughout their expedition, they are met with many obstacles. It was interesting to see how they worked their way through each situation.
The theme of family bonds was also strong in this book. Both main characters had different backgrounds and family relationships, which had a strong influence on their decisions and actions. The race relations between emigrants and Native Americans was interesting and made me think alot about Westward Expansion on both sides. The author was skilled and showing the complexities of race during that time.
Overall, I have very little negative comments on Where the Lost Wander. If I had to nitpick, it would be that some parts of the story involving the wagon train travel got a little tedious, but one could easily skim through those parts.
I had such a wonderful time reading this book. It reminded me alot of Dances with Wolves (one of the few Western movies I’ve seen) because it has alot of similar elements. It think it would make a great movie too! I remember once I finished the book, I just felt a sense of contentment. The characters and plot development were a big win. I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy historical fiction, historical romance, or Western fiction.