Follow the River

Follow the River Mary Ingles was twenty three married and pregnant when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement killed the men and women then took her captive For months she lived with them unb

Mary Ingles was twenty three, married, and pregnant, when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement, killed the men and women, then took her captive For months, she lived with them, unbroken, until she escaped, and followed a thousand mile trail to freedom an extraordinary story of a pioneer woman who risked her life to return to her people.

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Follow the River

  1. James Alexander Thom born 1933 is an American author, most famous for his works in the Western genre Born in Gosport, Indiana, he graduated from Butler University and served in the United States Marine Corps He is a former professor of journalism at Indiana University, and a contributor to the The Saturday Evening Post His fifth wife, Dark Rain Thom was a member of the Shawnee United Remnant Band until its dissolution the Thoms presently live in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington.

598 Reply to “Follow the River”

  1. This is very good historical fiction We are given a true story that captures our interest from page one What happens is exciting and the story is hard to put down Dialogs enliven events and capture temperaments of the people involved These dialogs may be fictional, but they conform to what source material tells us about the respective characters personalities The book is both adventure story and character study What made this book so special for me is that I felt what Mary felt When she froze, I [...]

  2. This book needed a lot of editing It was repetitious and monotonous Her voice did not seem very genuine It s kind of hard to explain, but sometimes it just didn t seem like a woman s point of view For example, she rarely never talked about the emotional relationship with her husband Instead, even when she was starving and fighting exposure and exhaustion in the extreme, every time she thought of her husband, it was sexual The way she immediately started fantasizing about Chief Wildcat was very H [...]

  3. I found this book incredibly interesting The amount of research author Jim Thom put into this novel almost reveals an obsession he must have had with the harrowing experience of Mary Draper Ingles I was educated at a very young age by my archaeologist father about the early settlements of this region, as well as the life of period Indian tribes Being a true Kentucky blue blood, I was also educated on the clash between the two, the eternal struggle, and God willing, those few who were able to liv [...]

  4. Sunday, July 8, 1755, Draper s Meadow, Virginia The Shawnee Indians launch a surprise attack on the settlement, killing most, but taking some prisoners, including a very pregnant Mary Draper Ingles and her two young sons The captives are taken on a long journey to Shawnee Town, where they are somewhat assimilated into the community, Mary is sold as a slave and her sons are adopted by one of the Indian chiefs Mary rebels at being another man s slave and yearns to escape and return home to her hus [...]

  5. This is one of the best books I ve ever read I read it once when I was a young teen, and again last year as an adult The book stayed with me all these years It s a true story about a young woman during the French and Indian War who witnesses much of her family and village massacred and then is taken by Indians Her husband, who is working in the fields, witnesses everything but is unable to stop it With her two young sons, who were spared, and a baby due any day, she travels hundreds of miles on [...]

  6. I chose to read Follow the River by James Alexander Thom not so much to be entertained and inspired by the story of Mary Ingles s escape in 1755 from Indian captivity and her torturous return from the Ohio River to her family s frontier settlement west of the Blue Ridge Mountains I had read about her ordeal, it being a true story, years ago I wanted to see how Thom dealt with what I anticipated would be two major difficulties description of her surroundings and portrayal of her thoughts and emot [...]

  7. It s gruesome at times, but such a powerful, realistic retelling of an incredible, true story It really moved me and I m sure I will read it again Mary Ingles is one of my heroes now

  8. I happened upon this book through the band in which I play One of the songs we perform written by one of my bandmates was inspired by this book, which tells of the story of Mary Ingles no relation to Laura Ingalls Wilder , who was kidnapped, along with her children, in a Shawnee indian raid on her village in Virginia in the late 1700 s She was taken to an area of Kentucky near Cincinatti, and, along with a Dutch woman named Gretel, escaped the Indian encampment leaving her son and newly born dau [...]

  9. I absolutely loved the first 40% or so It was full of action, suspense, drama and had me glued to the book But then it plateaued hard Like really hard And stayed that way until the end It was such an abrupt change I had a difficult time keeping my full attention on the story So it started as a strong 5 star book then slowly dropped to a 4 and when the journey home made the book feel like it was 1,000 pages long I finally ended with 3 strong stars.

  10. 3 1 2 stars, reallyThe most amazing thing about this story is that it really happened In 1755, Mary Ingles was captured by the Shawnee and taken to Ohio or thereabouts After a couple of months, she escaped along with an old Dutch woman With winter coming on and virtually no food clothing shoes, they made their way over very difficult terrain back to Virginia, where Mary was reunited with her husband They traveled about 1,000 miles.The only thing I couldn t figure out was how she managed this tri [...]

  11. Maybe one star is a bit harsh But I would not read this book again, unless I was abducted by Indians and they were threatening to burn me at the stake Mary Ingles story is compelling knowing that it was based on a true story made it hard to put down, but I kept hoping Mary would get a moment of peace somewhere along the way She didn t It was suffering, suffering, and yet gruesome suffering I think I need three or four straight happy novels to get over it It does have a happy ending Mary survive [...]

  12. This was FANTASTC I stayed up to 3 30 am to finish it last night Could not stop reading I have a thing for this time period so I really liked it What made it even better for me was that it was a true story Unbelievable what the heroine went through.

  13. This was a book, along with others by Thom, that I read decades ago, but I did remember parts of it and wanted to read it again Happening very early, before the USA formed as a separate country and with the protagonist, a woman it was and is different to the common period pieces It s brutal as life was And it s fiction, but based on a real life woman s history of being kidnapped and then returning to her own people eventually by a long on foot trip down a 1000 mile river This time I did not rea [...]

  14. I read this book from a recommendation of a book club and friend Mary is a mother and is kidnapped by Native Americans when whites were settling the West It is a true story of a woman that truly survived what no human should ever have to survive I wish I would have passed on this book because it seriously gave me nightmares It was an amazing story of survival, I am pretty sure I would have died if put in that situation I still get scary feelings those of you have read it will understand , becaus [...]

  15. I listened to Follow the River by James Alexander Thom with my husband We were both fascinated by this fictitious account of the kidnapping of Mary Draper Ingles by Shawnee Indians in 1755 Living in Draper s Meadow, Virginia, Mary, possibly pregnant at the time, her two sons, Thomas 4 and George 2 , and her sister in law Betty, and a male neighbor were ambushed and taken captive Mary gave birth to a daughter as the Shawnees traveled with the captives along the Ohio River finally coming to their [...]

  16. This book frustrated me Although it is based on a true story, it is clearly written by a man There was and extreme lack of womanly motherly emotion described in events that would than evoke such feelings from the main character, and it left her in my eyes less realistic and relateable despite the fact this really did happen My mother made me read this one, and although it got off to a decent start, I lost interest and desire to continue reading by about page 175, and felt at that point in the s [...]

  17. This novel is based on the true story of Mary Ingles, a young frontier woman living in western Virginia in the 1750s at the onset of the French and Indian War Their settlement was at the far fringes of colonial development and vulnerable to attack from the Shawnee Indians Many in her settlement were massacred, but Mary, very pregnant and about to give birth, her sister in law, her two young sons and another man from the community were kidnapped and taken deep into Shawnee territory well beyond a [...]

  18. Even though this is listed as historical fiction, it is actually based on a true survival story of a woman named Mary Ingles no, not Little House on the Prairie who was captured by Indians in the 1700 s I read this for book club, plus, I have always wanted to read it Some stories take a while to set up, but not this one From the first page I was pulled in It started off perfectly and I wondered why I hadn t read it before now The characters were easy to like, even Gretel I was really captured by [...]

  19. This book was tragically beautiful I felt so much pain for Mary and her other captives and almost couldn t bear the killing burning scenes Her decision to leave her children left me questioning what I would do Would I have not looked at my newborn s face so I wouldn t create an attachment and could leave her behind Would I have sacrificed my freedom and life to be with my children instead Who knows The journey home was beautiful, treacherous, and long, which describes how it felt to read it Just [...]

  20. Amazingly based on a true character and events, this is the harrowing story of Mary Ingels who is kidnapped by the Shawnee along with her children and is forced to undertake a perilous journey through unchartered wildnerness to reach home.It s is compelling reading in parts and the violence and grittiness of the times is well portrayed Much of the heartache that Mary endured as a wife and mother wasn t adequately described However her bravery and fortitude shone through.

  21. I feel humbled by Mary Ingles story It is truly amazing There were parts of the book I felt could have been shorter and almost gave it four stars because of that, but then I worried that somewhere out in the cosmos it would offend Mary Ingles This story is truth that is unbelievable than fiction Fantastic.

  22. Before there was Cheryl Strayed s Wild, there was this story In 1755 a young, married, and heavily pregnant woman was captured by the Shawnee Indians, with her two sons, and taken from Virginia to near present day Cincinnati She escaped her captors, and WALKED home, about a thousand miles, with another captive woman, arriving just this side of death, after about six weeks.What I really liked about this story is the sensual details are deep but not excessive I FELT hunger enough to eat bugs , col [...]

  23. I didn t finish this book When I finally decided to put it down I just bawled like a baby The author, in the first chapter, writes a descriptive scene of a baby being tossed around while an Indian in the middle tries to chop it with his ax, in the end, the Indian succeeds If that wasn t bad enough, The main character lets her three children, including three week old baby be taken in by the culture of the Indians As a mother who has lost a child, I found this extremely unrealistic and upsetting I [...]

  24. I read this book not too long after it was first published in 1981, so I ll looking back a long way to review it.The Indian attack and kidnapping was quite harrowing, but her attempt to survive after escaping the Indians by following the river was also pretty harrowing.After reading the book, I did some research, and found out that it actually is possible for someone s hair to turn white overnight And the things that happened to her as she tried to stay alive and return to her family were enough [...]

  25. Mary Ingles was an amazing woman I can t imagine living through what she endured When she left her sons and newborn daughter in the care of savages my heart nearly broke Escaping the Shawnee and finding her way home was a treacherous journey that seemed at any moment would be the death of her Her traveling companion, an old Dutch woman named Gretel, was quite scary and gruesome When Gretel began displaying cannibalistic behavior I thought about how desperate one must be to have such strong survi [...]

  26. Read this for book club, so I plowed through it so I could have it finished by tomorrow night Well, all I can say is WOW I am exhausted from reading it I couldn t put it down, but I also didn t want to pick it up It is a very detailed description to a horrible nightmare Once you get started on her journey home, you don t want to put the book down because you want her to get home so badly I just hope we can read something uplifting and fun for book club soon

  27. I wish I had been warned about the first chapter As a mother with children about the same age as Mary s, it was one of the most difficult things to read I give this book four stars, because page after page of hunger, cold, and physical pain, became a bit tedious, so I skimmed through the last part I wish that the author had spent time on her adjustment back into her community and with her husband Mary s story is remarkable, however, and definitely worth reading

  28. I read this for book club I never would have picked it up on my own The writing is not great, but the story based on fact is gripping and I m still thinking about it a year after reading it.

  29. Wow What can I say that won t diminish the impact of this story Anything I write will just come out trite I am so glad to have read the account of such a heroic, admirable woman.As I read, I reflected on the instinct of survival that tends to emerge in some when they are faced with horrific challenges The Holocaust came to mind Why do some fight death and some give in or aquiesce Mary Ingles dug deeper within herself than can be imagined I would not have dreamed up this story as a possibility, s [...]

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