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. 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. When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually… make peace with whom they are.
I really enjoyed Amy Harmon’s novels, What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash, so I knew her new release would be a winner. It had a lot going for it: Other than the ill-fated Donner Party and the computer game my kids played a zillion years ago, I knew zip about the Oregon Trail. I loved this book. It was a romance (minus the sap) steeped in American history and had wonderful details about Native American culture. The primary male character, John Lowry, was inspired by Harmon’s husband’s five X’s great grandfather, which made the book even more compelling. P.S. I sure am glad I wasn’t a pioneer. 4 stars