The Lost Wagon is the story of one man's hope of a finding a better life for his family. Deeply in debt and worried that his children will be forced to struggle all their lives to make ends meet, Joe Tower hears stories of free land in Oregon and a better way of life. The tale of the "promised land" does not move his wife Emma to support their leaving all they have behind until a catastrophe gives them no other choice. Intimate and glorious in its description of everyday events, thoughts, and hopes, this story is an excellent representation of what like was really like back in frontier days. The story brings us back to a simpler time, before texting instead of talking and not knowing who your neighbor is. Not an easier time, but certainly a different way of life. Fathers still wanted the best for their children. Mothers still worried about sick babies and couples still loved and supported each other. Elegantly descriptive, it captures the grueling tedium of daily life along with the straightforward characterization of people and events. The way West to a better life was filled with perils: blizzards, outlaws, stampedes, Indians, and starvation but the determination and courage of this family group, alone on the prairie, is a gripping listen.