Christine's Reviews > Follow the River

Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
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's review
Oct 17, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction, book-club-selection
Read in October, 2007

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 have heard it described as a very heroic and inspiring tale, and many of you may be able to read it without the heart wrenching agony I felt.

I decided to find out how it ends on the internet, and the main character makes it back to her people by following a river over 1000 miles. She is later able to ransom back her oldest son (my guess is about 4 at the time of the kidnapping, and maybe a teen when they get him back), and her sister-in-law.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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LeNea You really need to read the whole book to understand why she made the decisions she made. It was heart wrenching but her children would never have survived the journey and she chose to give them life.

Jamie Definitely read the whole book. It is absolutely fascinating what women endure!!!!!

Erin As horrible as the descriptions were, and aweful a thought it is that she left her 3 children to be raised by the natives who captured her and her family, it is necesssary to put it into the perspective of what was best for the children and for her survival as well.

Laura Heartwrenching agony-yes. Unrealistic-no, as the book is based on the TRUE story of Mary Ingles.

message 5: by Kris (new) - rated it 1 star

Kris That's why I stopped reading it because horrible as living with Indians may have been I would NEVER have abandoned my children to return to anyone!

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I had a very hard time to finish it but could not stop reading. However, my husband did stop.

Andrea I agree with you! I did finish it. This character did not think like a woman. I think circumstances or thoughts must have been different that lead her to leaving her children the way she did in real life.

Samantha Burgess 2 of her kids was taken from her, she didn't exactly have a choice.

Christi You have to realize that before she left her two boys had already been taken from her anyway. She couldn't have them if she wanted to. It was a very heart wrenching story and, like you, I had a hard time seeing how she could leave her baby. It wasn't until listening to the rest of the story and what she had to go through to get home that I came to agree that she made the best decision. All in all, I thought it a great book even though the beginning tore my heart out.

message 10: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann As one reader pointed out, she did what was best for her children. I'm sure she intended to get help in getting her children back. As it turned out, her son was never again happy living among whites in Virginia, and kept returning to the Indians, whose lives were, in my opinion, much better adapted to living in this country. She took a chance to escape from the salt lick where she was taken to work.

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