Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red Heart” as Want to Read:
The Red Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red Heart

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  846 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
The Slocum family of Northeastern Pennsylvania are the best of the white settlers, peace-loving Quakers who believe that the Indians hold the Light of God inside. It is from this good-hearted family that Frances is abducted during the Revolutionary war.

As the child's terror subsides, she is slowly drawn into the sacred work and beliefs of her adoptive mother and of all the
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 28th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published September 28th 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Red Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Red Heart

Two Rivers by Zoe SaadiaAt Road's End by Zoe SaadiaThe Peacekeeper by Zoe SaadiaThe Cahokian by Zoe SaadiaRide the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson
Native American Historical Fiction
26th out of 187 books — 173 voters
A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve HamiltonMiddlesex by Jeffrey EugenidesAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieBetter Read Than Dead by Victoria LaurieA Superior Death by Nevada Barr
Books set in Michigan
278th out of 312 books — 107 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,613)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Jun 19, 2009 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who love history and excellent storytelling
What a story!! And it's true!

This is serious historical fiction. Long and descriptive and SO worth the effort to read. I am in awe of James Alexander Thom's dedication to authenticity and his exquisitely detailed storytelling. Last year when I read Panther in the Sky, I figured none of his other books could be as good. I was wrong, lucky me. :)

The Red Heart details the life of Frances Slocum from age five until her death at age 74 in 1847. Frances was a Quaker girl in the Susquehanna Valley of P
Jun 28, 2013 LemonLinda rated it it was amazing
What a story! This is a novel based on the true story of Frances Slocum (AKA Good Face, Little Bear Woman, Macanawka). As a five year old Quaker child living in the Susquahannah River Valley area, Frances was abducted by Lenapeh warriors and given to an Indian woman whose child had been killed by the "Long Knives" (American colonists in the midst of the American Revolution). Even though Frances was a red-haired "wapsini" (white person) and they were much feared, resented, and even hated by all o ...more
Jun 12, 2013 Gus rated it it was amazing
What a terrific book! I must be the only person on the planet who didn't know about Frances Slocum, so I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by her story. What an incredible woman! Now I want to visit the State Park in Indiana and the gravesite.

I enjoy historical fiction books that teach about life in those times. In this book, the amazing ways of the Indians survival, in peace and in war times, is fascinating. I was particularly the concept of the "Three Sisters", i.e., seeds for corn, beans
Oct 17, 2015 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
After reading this novel, I came to truly respect, admire and love Frances/Good Face/Little Bear Woman. A fiery red headed Quaker who at the age of 5 was captured by Indians and taken from her large family. A book based on true events told by a master storyteller, one I'll want to read again. 5+ Stars!
Jan 26, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ashley
This is my favorite book. Words cannot express how good it is. Read it!
Becky Norman
Oct 25, 2014 Becky Norman rated it it was amazing
It takes me awhile to get through Thom's books...but that's only because I feel transported into his worlds and never want to leave. I savour every sentence - not only the language, the pace, the descriptions - but also the philosophy of the peoples he writes about. The Red Heart is about a real-life Quaker, Frances Slocum, who is taken from her family at a young age by Lenapeh (Delaware) warriors and brought up as part of their tribe, who treat her as a replacement daughter to a child that was ...more
Brenda Roberson
Aug 21, 2015 Brenda Roberson rated it it was amazing
THE RED HEART is based on the true life story of Frances Slocum from the age of 5 until her death at age 74 in 1847. Frances was a Quaker girl growing up in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. She was stolen by the Delaware Indians when she was 5 years old. This may sound barbaric, but many Indians felt justified in taking white children as the replacements for their own children who were killed by white soldiers.

Frances quickly adapts and was integrated into the Delaware life but then late
Feb 05, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
The Red Heart is the fascinating story of Francis Slocum, a Quaker girl who was kidnapped by the Delaware Indians when she was only 5 years old. Francis’ mother never gave up hope that she would be found and always wondered what happened to her little girl. The mother passed on her yearning to her sons, who searched yearly for Francis. In the meantime, Francis was fully integrated into her new life. She was adopted by parents who loved and cherished her; grew to womanhood and found a good husban ...more
Mar 05, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
What exhaustive research Thom does! This novel is based on the fascinating account of a young five year old Quaker girl who was kidnapped by the Delawares. Thom fills in the narrative with logical suppositions of what it would have been like to be living in Deleware and later Miami villages as they are attacked by American troops repeatedly, often prior to harvesting the crops that had been painstakingly planted, resulting in a constant struggle against hunger while attempting to escape to safet ...more
Vicki Tate
Nov 10, 2010 Vicki Tate rated it really liked it
Every time I read a novel about the plight of the American Indians, it breaks my heart that such a noble race were lied to, tracked down, and forced off their own lands. Thom always makes a case for the Indians while dispassionately recording the actions of the white settlers and the fledgling new American leaders who stole their lands and forced them from their homes, burning and destroying everything of value that the Indians possessed in attempts to remove them and take their lands.

Frances Sl
Oct 16, 2011 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Based on historical characters, it tells the story of a young white Quaker girl in NE PA taken by the Lenape Indians in 1847 (Delawares) and raised in Native American culture- first Lenape and then Miami by marriage. We see her thrive in her new culture and fear the white soldiers who break treaty after treaty and bring death, disease, and whiskey and burn their homes and steal their land. she never forgets her "first family" and at one point almost takes steps to pave the way to return to them. ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books I have ever read - as was Follow the River by the same author.

This book is beautifully written - especially the geographic descriptions of America around the time of the American Revolution and the descriptions of the life and ways of native Americans - the Delaware tribe in particular - at the time.

I learned quite a bit about the challenges and differences of opinion the Delaware, Miami and other tribes of northern Ohio and Indiana had on how to best deal with the
Jan 06, 2014 Dale rated it it was amazing
This is one great book.

The Red Heart
is based on the true story of Francis Slocum, a 4 year old Quaker girl who was kidnapped by Delaware Indians in the 1770s on the Pennsylvania frontier near Wilkes-Barre. (There are recreation areas named for her in both Pennsylvania and Indiana)

It is also the story of her family's 60 year search for her across the Midwest and even into Canada.

It is also the story of the relentless American westward movement and how the Indians dealt with it.

The reader also ge
Cindy Deyo
Apr 26, 2016 Cindy Deyo rated it it was amazing
Loved this story of Frances Slocum, a child abducted and ultimately embraced by the Miami Indians during the Revolutionary War. This author does an incredible amount of research for his narratives and I just couldn't put it down. Hated to have it end; I recommend this author to anyone who loves historical fiction based on real people's lives and experiences.
Jan 02, 2013 Eric rated it liked it
A fictionalized biography of a young white girl kidnapped by indians in a pre-revolutionary war raid, and raised to become totally culturally absorbed by her tribe. So much so, that when later located by her birth family, she had forgotten English, and refused to go back to the white culture at all. As well researched as can be possible, given that she left nothing behind in writing, but sometimes the (necessary) speculation about what she did and what she thought is (necessarily) a bit over con ...more
Susan Poling
Sep 09, 2011 Susan Poling rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I seem to be on a Native American Kidnapping "binge." This is the 2nd true story of a woman being kidnapped from her home. However, this book is about a 5 year old being kidnapped and taken to an "indian' woman to replace her own child who was killed by the white people. This is not the epic journey of a woman escaping from "indians" (Follow the River), but of a girl who becomes fully integrated into the "indian" community. It is also a history of the horror suffered by the Native Americans as t ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Jeanne rated it did not like it
The time: November 1778
The place: Valley of the Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
The action: Five-year-old Frances Slocum, a Quaker, is kidnapped by three Delaware warriors.

What follows: an account of Frances’s life, as she grows up with various tribes. Occasionally, readers get a glimpse of the Slocum family and their never-ending quest to find Frances.

I really do not have anything nice to say about this novel. The story is boring, the characterizations are flimsy, and the writing is poor. How does the
May 11, 2016 Pam rated it it was amazing
This is the third book I have read by James Alexander Thom. I rate them all 5 stars. He is my favorite American historical fiction writer. I felt more compassion and love for the Indian tribes than I ever have before. Going on this journey with Frances Slocum was a wonderful adventure.
May 21, 2016 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Great Spirit for the life of the Indian

We can learn so much from these beautiful, faith filled people. Loved the rich history of the Indian nations and the lives of main characters. Highly recommend this book to all lovers of Mother Earth.
Charles Morton
Feb 13, 2015 Charles Morton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great perspective into the lives of the Indian nations

This is a great description of how the Indian nations were unjustly treated by the white settlers. Excellent detailed views of the hardships endured from the perspective of the Indian people.
Jan 13, 2016 Iris rated it it was amazing
I read this book not knowing that it was about a real person. Frances Slocum was abducted from her Quaker family by the Lenape Indians. The book traces her life and also the culture and trials of the Indian nation which is also American history
Jul 27, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it
The Slocum family of Northeastern Pennsylvania are the best of the white settlers, peace-loving Quakers who believe that the Indians hold the Light of God inside. It is from this good-hearted family that Frances is abducted during the Revolutionary war.As the child's terror subsides, she is slowly drawn into the sacred work and beliefs of her adoptive mother and of all the women of these Eastern tribes. Frances becomes Maconakwa, the Little Bear Woman of the Miami Indians.

I picked this book beca
Lisa Vincent
Dec 21, 2013 Lisa Vincent rated it really liked it
The fact that it was a true story made it much more interesting. I learned that my Great Grandmother had read this book, as did my Grandmother and mother. That this author was a favorite of hers. So of course I had to read it too. I have read one other book by Thom. Follow the River. That was years ago when I was a young teenager. An important highlight was to find out that there are two state parks named after the main character who was kidnapped from her home by Indians. Her family never gave ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction at its finest, this book was enthralling. My first introduction to James Thom was the movie Follow the River which was spellbinding. One of the reviews commented that he "breaths life into the stale past".......I can't do any better than that.
Sue Covert
Jun 18, 2014 Sue Covert rated it it was amazing
Great story. There is a cave in Cuyahoga Falls Gorge Park where the girl in the story stayed.
Shane Phipps
Feb 20, 2016 Shane Phipps rated it it was amazing
Thorough historical story-telling. Classic and wonderful Jim Thom. A national treasure.
Jul 15, 2016 AF rated it it was amazing
This was such a great book. Great doesn't even begin to describe it. Frances Slocum was such a strong, loving woman. Reading the book made me feel crappy about America's history, but it needs to be told. We need to know what happened, how the Native Americans were treated, tricked, destroyed, so that we can do better in the future.
Sandy Clark
Feb 02, 2016 Sandy Clark rated it really liked it
Enlightening book about Native American history.
Oct 12, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
A book full of more fact than fiction, the story of a young girl who becomes captive by the Shawnee and grows up as Indian. This book interweaves Indian culture and the clash between the American, French and the British soldiers but explains the little known Indian culture with living, mores, respect for animals, nature and the spirit world. Again, Thom is a great story teller and has caught the details of this young girl"s life and travails and is another not- to- be missed
absorbing, compellin
Julie Castleberry
Sep 10, 2014 Julie Castleberry rated it it was amazing
great saga, based on a true story
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ride the Wind
  • A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh
  • Stone Song: A Novel of the Life of Crazy Horse
  • People of the Longhouse (People of the Longhouse #1; North America's Forgotten Past #17)
  • Creek Mary's Blood
  • Pocahontas
  • People of the Owl (North America's Forgotten Past, #11)
  • Prairie
  • Big Chief Elizabeth: The Adventures and Fate of the First English Colonists in America
  • The Massacre at Fall Creek
  • Song of the Wolf
  • Martha Peake: A Novel of the Revolution
  • Too Tough to Tame (Tough Man, #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 ...more
More about James Alexander Thom...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »