Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon ~Review~

“They steal from us. We steal from them. We understand each other. But we don’t understand the whites.”

Where the Lost Wander

The Beaumont Bookworms selected Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon, a story about the Oregon Trail. Naomi May and her family are heading West, not long after the death of her husband. She loves to draw and it will save her life throughout the story. Then there is John Lowry who is half-Pawnee and half-white. He takes care of mules and doesn’t know where he fits in society. One day, a young woman catches his attention, that woman is Naomi May. He finds out she will be on the trail that he is helping but he will try his hardest to ignore her. Their journey will be hard enough without the complications of love.

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh. This book had so much promise. It could have really changed the same old Oregon Trail story. But no. The very first scene is an Indian attack-something that was incredibly rare. In fact, settlers attacking the Indians was more common. But no, let’s just keep vilifying a people who were being killed and forced off their land. Ok. First rant over.

I did love John’s character and his inner conflict. My favorite part has to be seeing Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe. I have read about him before and I feel that she did his historical significance justice. But then there is Chief Pocatello. Chief Pocatello actually had a very tragic history and hated watching his people suffer. So peace was not an option. Instead of actually telling his story, he became the villain. I really urge readers to actually read about the harsh realities faced by the First Nation Peoples. The white settlers were not the victims.

I was really hoping for a book that showed the harsh realities for everyone on the Oregon Trail. Not perpetuating the same stereotypes over and over again. So for me, I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

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