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Follow the River

Follow the River

4.4 119
by James Alexander Thom, David Drummond (Narrated by)

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Mary Ingles was twenty-three, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an


Mary Ingles was twenty-three, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen. Her story lives on-extraordinary testimony to the indomitable strength of one pioneer woman who risked her life to return to her own people.

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

James Alexander Thom was a U.S. Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. His books include Panther in the Sky, for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Historical Novel.

David Drummond has narrated over seventy audiobooks for Tantor, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, from fantasy to military, and from thrillers to humor. He has garnered multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as an Audie Award nomination. Visit him at drummondvoice.com.

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Follow the River 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 119 reviews.
Bergin More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It focuses on Mary Draper Ingles, a twenty three year old wife and mother of two, soon to be three young children. Mary, despite the hard ship of being a early American settler, is living a idyllic life on a settlement called Draper's Meadow in West Virginia with her husband William and two sons Thomas and George. The story takes a horrifying turn one morning, when a Shawnee Indian tribe attack the settlement and take Mary her two sons and her sister in law Bettie hostage while their husbands are out working in the fields. What follows is a heart wrenching story about how one woman's love, courage and her amazing will to live give her the strength to make the most incredible journey of her life. This book was well written, painfully realistic and perfectly detailed. I believe anyone who hears about Mary Ingles will find her story to be absolutely awe inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story of survival, amazing courage, and determination. Takes you back to a time in America when our freedom wasnt yet our own. I have read it a couple times and am looking forward to read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
when i read this, i try to imagine if i would have been able to make it back my simply "following the river" Thom goes deep into this historical fiction, where the facts surrounding the story come from distant family members who had this story told to them over the years. If you love stories of peoples lives, you will love this book.
TampaRuthy More than 1 year ago
I read this years ago in a book club and never forgot it. I rediscovered it when sorting my books and read it again, enjoying it just as much as I did 25 years ago. What a story! Am going to recommend this to my current book clubs. This author has a true storytelling gift , so I'm planning on re-reading more of his books. True stories that make history come alive are my favorite and painless way to learn from the past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book based on true events. Brave pioneers that struggled to survive and make a good life in new territory. Interesting as well as keeps you interest.
katieLM More than 1 year ago
Follow the River is a book for young adult readers about the real life story of Mary Ingles. It is a facinating account of the life of one of the first settlers in WV. It gives a clear picture of life during frontier times, and showcases one of the bravest women in history. However, be forewarned; this is NOT Little House on the Prarie.James Alexander Thom has written many books for young adult readers about frontier life in early America. He is able to bring these characters to life and make the reader feel what it would be like to live that way. In Follow the River we learn about a pioneer woman who was kidnapped and forced to live with the Shawnee tribe that stole her and her children from their home. She faces more hardships than anyone these days could imagine, including losing her children, but she manages to stay alive and return home. During her time with the indians, Mary finds an inner strength to keep her dream of getting home to her husband ,alive. She also learns there is good and bad in ALL cultures.This book has some really gory parts, so if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, you may want to pass this one up. I thought it made the book more realistic. Life at that time was not an episode of Little House on the Prarie. As the old Dutch woman in the book proves, the trials these people faced were enough to push some to the brink of insanity. Some, like Mary Ingles,found an inner strength to keep going. I would highly recommend this book. It is inspirational to see the kind of ancestors we have. It will be especially interesting to readers from Virginia and West Virginia where the book takes place.
Jean_wv More than 1 year ago
In the beginning of the story, Mary Draper Ingles is a young, healthy woman who is nine months pregnant. Mary, and her husband Will, and their two kids, Georgie and Tommy, live in a house in Draper Meadows. One day Will leaves to go to work and leaves Mary and the kids at the house alone. While he is gone Shawnee Indians come and kill Mary's mother and kidnaps Mary, and the kids along with another man. The Indians take them through trails, past rivers, all the way to their Indian camp. But before the make it to the camp, Mary gives birth on the trail to a baby girl. After she had given birth, Wildcat, the chief Indian favors Mary because she didn't make noise given birth. At the camp, Mary met a woman named Ghetel. While she is at the camp, she makes shirts for exchange of blankets. After a while of being at the camp, Wildcat wants Mary to be his wife, but she refuses. So Wildcat decides to get back at her. He takes her sons away from her and she is sold to Frenchmen. Then she is taken to the "land of big bones". After a while of being there Mary and Ghetel plan their escape. In order for them to escape, Mary has to leave her daughter with an Indian squaw. On the journey home, Mary and Ghetel come across some difficulties. They are running out of food to eat, so they are forced to eat things that may or may not be poisonous. They also dropped their main weapon and a blanket. But they survived. I highly recommend reading this book. I would give it 5 out of 5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a woman named mary ingles. when she is only days away from having her third child she is kidnapped by the shawnee indians. her two boys also get kidnapped with her. the indians attacked their village killing many and taking hostages. Mary and her two sons go on a treturous journey with the indians trying to survive. Mary ends up being the only one out of her family to survive the Indians and their tricks. she finds her way back to her love, william, by following the river back to her village. this book is entertaining, exciting, thrilling, and romantic. i highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a well written story about how love can keep two people together even though they are so far apart.
desiree_wv More than 1 year ago
This book, Follow the River, by James Alexander Thom, is about a woman named Mary Ingles, happily married with two children, plus one on the way, was twenty-three when Shawnee Indians attacked her settlement, took captives, and left dead bodies. Mary was among the captives. While on their long journey to the Shawnee settlement, Mary was planning escape. She kept in mind that she belonged to Will, her husband, and only Will. She refused to be the squaw of anyone else. She built trust among the Indians and when she knew they trusted her, she slips away into the deadly wilderness, following the river, on the long journey back to Will. I liked this book because I loved Mary's spirit and hope, plus it was greatly detailed. I think James Alexander Thom is a great author!
BabsVA More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Hard to believe it is a true story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have read this book 3 times in the last 20 years....a well written story that will stir your soul....you won't ever forget it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was fascinated by the strength and courage of Mary, she was determined to get home to her husband no matter the hardship. I would wake up in the middle of the night and was drawn to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just shows how strong some women truly are! I just could not imagine anyone could go through and survive what she experienced. I also admired her for keeping her focus in the physical condition she was in...amazing woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I read it twice and then told everyone i knew about it. My neighbors read it then i passed it on to my family members who all read it also. I got so into this book I felt like I was with Mary on her journey. My favorit part was when Gretal, Mary's friend, threatened to eat her and Mary put her on the other side of the river. You have to read this book. Betsy Locklear NC
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good, very descriptive book about survival and the sheer strenth and determination of a woman. However, I was also disappointed by the cover. Mary looked nothing like that, I'm sure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my fave books, it's up there with Jurassic Park.
Beverly_D 6 months ago
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), cold, wounds and sore feet. Felt fear of being recaptured, the bond formed between the two women on the trail, fear of losing the way, the grim determination. I also liked that this book neither whitewashed the Shawnee as "noble savages," nor portrayed them as anything other than intelligent, complex human beings, while still portraying these clashes from the point of view of the early white settlers. We can (and I do) dispute the whole manifest destiny and white supremacy idealogy that led to driving Native Americans from their own homelands, but at the same time, I think it's useful to understand the mindset of the time. There are some gruesome scenes and graphic descriptions of the Indian raids and their tradition of the gauntlet, not to mention the natural outcome of starving and eating dubious materials while on the trail. In one word, this is intense. Not for the squeamish.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I read this book many years ago and it remains one of my favorite books ever!
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boredONdeployment More than 1 year ago
This book was great and you really felt what Mary went through along her journey. The only reason I'm leaving out a star is because the travel took sooooo long and I was ready to see what happens; did she make it? was Will there? but I still had over 200 pages before I could find out.
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