What a powerful story! Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon had all the emotions, so if you want light and fluffy, run from this one fast. Yoke your oxen up and skedaddle. It’s a heart-yanker. You feel all the love, all the deep-seeded, unending pain, the heartache, the laughs, the awe…the victory and triumph. But all the sadness and heartwrenching agony are SO worth it in the end. I think the joy and awe you feel at the end are even magnified because of what you go through with these characters—John Lowry and Naomi May.
It’s set in the 1850s in the pioneering days of U.S. history, when buffalo still roamed the prairies and Indians were trying to make their stand against white man’s intrusion. It’s a love story—one of the best. Chief Washake of the Shoshone is a side character that especially spoke to me. I loved how the author respectfully wrote about their history and all the tiny gems of wisdom she wove into the story. I felt like I was right there with Naomi and John as they made their way across the country toward California.
I loved everything about this book. Nothing was lacking, in my opinion. It was a story I will reread again and recommend to others with full confidence that they will enjoy it. Harmon is one of my all-time favorite storytellers and I read everything she puts out because she doesn’t just write to market to make money, she writes with her whole heart and soul and I am always a better person after reading what she shares.
The pain. It’s worth it. The more you love, the more it hurts. But it’s worth it. It’s the only thing that is.” – Jennie
Hating never fixed anything. It seems simple, but most things are. We just complicate them. We spend our lives complicating what we would do better to accept. Because in acceptance, we put our energy into transcendence.”
“You’ll have to explain that one to me, Ma. I don’t know what transcendence means.”
“That’s where your mind goes when your hands are drawing,” Ma explains. “It’s a world, a place, beyond this one. It’s what could be.”
I nod. That much I understand. When I draw, it does feel like I go somewhere else. I escape. It’s the reason I’ll never stop, even when it seems like a waste of precious time.
“Put your energy into rising above the things you can’t change, Naomi. Keep your mind right. And everything will work out for the best.”
“Even if there’s a lot of pain along the way?”
“Especially if there’s pain along the way,” Mama says firmly.
This book was so beyond incredible, but then I read the author’s notes at the end, and they even touched me. Especially now with the world in so much commotion, confusion, and contention, this piece of wisdom from Amy is very timely and wise.
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.
That is something we need to remember. When we forget, we only hurt ourselves.
Anyway, I hope you get a chance to read this book. It’s on sale until the 10th for only $1.99, which is a great deal, so grab it. I think it’s the one I’m choosing for the next time I’m in charge of the book group choice. Lots to discuss, lots to think about, lots of painful, beautiful, and overwhelming emotions.