This is quite different from the past books I’ve read by Amy Harmon. What the Wind Knows and The First Girl Child are steeped in folklore and mythology with prominent supernatural elements. This latest offering is not without mystery or wonder, but it is quite different. My love of history and the peoples who populate it make this tale of the journey west through the lands of people groups whose own futures were irrevocably tied to the unstoppable flood of emmigrants like Naomi and her family intriguing.
The struggles of both sides, those who traveled seeking a better life and those who wished to maintain the comfortable life they had, are handled by the author in as honest and careful a manner as possible. Then, as now, mistakes were made on each side. Harm was caused that resulted in more anger and rash action. Blindness as to the individual worth of a person rather than the judgement of a group as a whole existed; doesn’t it still?
Here is the blurb:
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.
Personally, I wasn’t as drawn to this story as to the Irish history or Norse mythology in Harmon’s previous works mentioned above, however, the story itself needs telling, and I appreciate her handling of delicate issues. If you enjoy western fiction, pioneer fiction and complicated, but deep romance, you will enjoy this novel.
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If you’ve read this story, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment and we can have a discussion.
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