Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Book Reviews-Follow the River by James Alexander Thom

There is nothing better than a good story to help me relax and unwind.I usually like reading fiction because it lets me get away from reality a little,but when I saw the opportunity to review Follow the River,I thought it might be a nice change.

The story is based on the real tale of a pioneer woman who is kidnapped during an Indian raid on her small settlement.Mary Ingles is taken,along with her two sons,her brothers wife Betty,and a neighbor.They are forced to travel over harsh lands where,during the trip,she gives birth to her daughter.One of the chiefs takes a liking to her for her bravery,so she isn't treated as badly as the others,which begins to put a strain on her relationship with Betty.Mary is too busy caring for her children and trying to remember the route they are taking in case she can find a way to get back.The trip lasts for weeks and she keeps track of days by tying knots in her string belt.

They finally arrive at a large trading settlement,where she makes a deal with two traders to sew shirts out of some cloth they have.She is paid for her work in blankets to keep her and her family warm in the coming winter.While she is there,she is offered a chance to go and live with the chief.She would be protected and have food and shelter for her and her sons.Missing her husband and wanting to go back to him,she declines.The chief tells her he is taking her boys to be his sons and he leaves with them shortly after.

One day she finds a way to escape with an old German woman she calls Gretyl.They take their blankets and small hatchet and run off while they are supposed to be looking for nuts and berries.Leaving her baby behind and fearing capture at every turn,they begin to make their way back down the trail that brought Mary there all those weeks ago.Doing her best to remember the twists,turns,ridges and hills,Mary leads them back toward home.

During the journey the two woman face unspeakable horrors.They are forced to walk miles without shoes,eat bugs,plants and whatever they can find to sustain them for another day.The woman travel through intense cold,wade across streams and rivers and much more to survive the horrid trip back to the people Mary left behind.Eventually,madness takes over the old woman and Mary is forced to go her own way in order to survive.

I won't tell you how this book ends or any more of what happens to Mary and the others during their capture.I will say this book surprised me.I couldn't believe some of what was endured by the captives.It really made me think about how I would react and what I would have done in that situation.I also have a new respect for non-fiction writing and plan to read more in the future.

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine. This book was given to me by my grandmother.I elected to share and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

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