The Red Heart
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The Red Heart

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  574 ratings  ·  64 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...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 28th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published September 28th 1997)
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The Cahokian by Zoe SaadiaAt Road's End by Zoe SaadiaFallen Hopes, Taken Dreams by J.M. BarlogRide the Wind by Lucia St. Clair RobsonPanther in the Sky by James Alexander Thom
Native American Historical Fiction
12th out of 76 books — 101 voters
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Jeanette
Jun 19, 2009 Jeanette rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
LemonLinda
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
Gus
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...more
Ashley
This is my favorite book. Words cannot express how good it is. Read it!
Susan
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
Judy
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
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...more
Claudia
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
Dale
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...more
Eric
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
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
Jeanne
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...more
Lisa Vincent
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
Sue Covert
Great story. There is a cave in Cuyahoga Falls Gorge Park where the girl in the story stayed.
Louise Jackson
Loved this book.
Shirley
Well researched and well written fictional interpretation of the life of Frances Slocum, who was abducted by Delaware Indians at age 5 in the late 1700's. She spent the rest of her fairly long life traveling and living with several tribes from Pennsylvania to New York, and finally to Indiana. Mr. Thom writes with much sympathy for the plight of the Indians as they were forced out of their lands by the U.S. Government and white settlers.
Becky Barnett
Great read. I would rate it PG & not reccomend it to my teenagers due to discussions of sex (within marriage), and gore (tells of raids on indian villiages with violence and rape.) I am quite conservative of what I hope my teens will encounter. On an adult level I thought it was an excellent book that gave me a personalized perspective on indian treatment by the white men.
Natalie Omer
This is a true story about an amazing girl who was kidnapped by Lenapeh Indians in 1778. She was adopted by the Indians as one of their own. This is her story and the story of her white family's search for her. I would have given this book 5 stars if the author hadn't included some borderline graphic details of intimate situations....if you know what I mean...
Teresa
Another superb Thom book! A fictionalized account of the true-life Francis "Frannie" Slocum, this is a wonderful look into the life of Native Americans -- and Frannie -- from right around the Revolutionary War to the mid-1800's.

Being trapped in Thom-Land, I'm moving along to another of his titles right away. I think my horror/thriller pile is very dusty!
Lisa4piano Brown
I really liked this book. LOTS of info on the American Indian culture. It was just a little long winded and I admit to skimming a little, but not much :) It's a true story about little old Wilkes-Barre, PA where I am living now and there is a park here named "Frances-Slocum State Park". I just never knew she was taken by Indians...fascinating.
Jan
This excellent book follows the footsteps of Frances Slocum after she was captured by Indians and taken from her native Pennsylvania to Indiana. It was especially interesting to me because I now live near where she was captured and I was born near where she ended up. There are parks in both states to memorialize her and her story.
Debbie Petrina
I totally loved it and learned so much about the life of Northeastern American Indian Tribes and their tragic history during the early growth and expansion of America. After reading the book, seeing actual pictures of some main characters was fascinating. I highly commend Thom both as an author and a researcher.
Kelly Niehaus
Why in the world is the print so small? I eould have dumped this book if it was not in ebook format because of the print!

After the first 100 pages, I'm putting the book down. It is a nice book, but nothing captivating. I have too many other books to read right now, maybe I'll pick it up later.
Ilene
Very compelling story of a young girl taken from her Quaker family and happily lived with Native Americans. Very details as this authors generally are and very poignant and realistically told. I would recommend this book, even though some parts were a little wordy, buy well worth the read.
Christie
This is one of my all time favorite American historical fiction reads....Although it is based on a true story. It was one of our book club picks, but I bought the book to be able to savor in future years. Because I loved his story-telling/detailed writing, I also read "Follow the River".
Karen
Historical fiction based on a real person who was stolen from her Quaker family about age 6 by Indians--her family's search for her, her life and the beauty of the culture she was adopted into, the sorry tale of how the Native American tribes were treated about the time of the Revolutionary War.
Joanne
One of the BEST books I have read in the past 16 years. It forever changed my view of our settlement nay stealing of this country from the native Indians. Really eye opening. Very well-written, compelling book that helped me see through the eyes of American Indians.
Sally
This is one of my all-time favorite works of historical fiction. All of Thom's books entertain and leave you feeling that you've truly learned more about the subject matter. I've read all of his books, some of them multiple times, and highly recommend all of them.
Danni
I LOVED this book. It was so interesting. I read it for a book club. It is about a Quaker girl who gets abducted by Indians. She doesn't even remember her former life or name. It had so many cool things about the different cultures. I would recommend it highly.
Beth
Historical fiction based on the life of Frances Slocum. Lots of Fort Wayne area history, so I recommend this book. But for some reason I did not enjoy this book as well as the others I have read by this author (Follow the River and Children of First Man).
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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
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