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Follow the River | [James Alexander Thom]

Follow the River

Mary Ingles was 23, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Mary Ingles was 23, 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.

©1981 James A. Thom (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (393 )
5 star
 (184)
4 star
 (123)
3 star
 (59)
2 star
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1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.2 (331 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (9)
1 star
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Story
4.1 (330 )
5 star
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4 star
 (99)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
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  •  
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 11-18-13
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bit too painful..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The story, perhaps. But the entire package, No.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Drummond?

    A woman.


    Do you think Follow the River needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, it was a very complete depiction.


    Any additional comments?

    Written like a novel, it is in fact an historical account of a woman's capture and brave escape from the Choctaw Indians, circa 1752. I thought it was a VERY good story, interesting and captivating. I give it a three because the accurate depiction of her escape and sojourn back home was incredibly painful to read. My heart ached and I cried, and it went on Forever. Forever. She just kept suffering and it wore me down. I continued to read because I wanted her to get home safely, but it was torture for about five hours.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-13-13
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-13-13 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worthwhile, amazing story you won't soon forget"

    A few spoilers, perhaps.

    Mary Ingles' escape from the Shawnee Indians in 1755 is such an incredible true story. The beginning of her story is a tough read, as it describes an Indian massacre in detail. Although I thought I was prepared for this telling, it was still disturbing. Mary's time spent in captivity, although only several months, also is a fair chunk of the story, very interesting yet not quite as disturbing.

    I was fascinated her trip to freedom. It is written in a manner that you feel you are right there with her day after tortuous day. The relationship that progressed between Mary and her companion, in all its developments, rang true and certainly seemed believable. It seemed the obstacles would never cease as Mary plodded along following various rivers, starving and naked. While the story sometimes seemed beyond belief, I have read other true survival tales and continue to be amazed at what a human body can go through when determined to survive.

    I especially appreciated the author's comments at the end of the book.

    Highly recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 09-14-13
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I got it on sale - save your credit"

    I picked up this title on one of those $4.95 sales - now I know why it was on the cheap list. I was hoping for a historical American frontier tale of struggle and triumph mixed with charming bits of old-timey language and culture. I was disappointed. To be fair, I didn't make it all the way through but the combination of poor narration and weak writing did me in. I think the actual story behind it all is probably fascinating and worth hearing - I'm just not sure this book was the right container.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 12-03-13
    Lia Sutton, Australia 12-03-13 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing and Heartbreaking Story of Survival"

    Mary Ingles is an inspiration of the possibilities of endurance of the human spirit. Victim of a brutal Shawnee attack in the summer of 1755 she is force marched from Virginia to Shawnee, Ohio while nine months pregnant giving birth on the trail. She is sold into slavery and taked to the area near Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. Together with an old Dutch woman she escapes and begins a 1,000 mile trek home through unknown and hostile wilderness. In 43 harrowing days she goes from 125 pounds to under 80 pounds as she faces the elements, starvation, wild animals, hostile Indians, implacable nature, and a companion that turns cannibal. The reader shares the agony of the journey with Mary as she must go the final miles on her hands and knees. The most amazing thing about the story is it is true. Like his other historical novels Thom has done his research and he makes the history come alive for his reader.
    David Drummond was inspirational with the delivery of the story.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 12-22-14
    AudioAddict 12-22-14

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of suffering but a very good book"

    STORY (true historical) - This is the story of Mary Ingles, a truly incredible woman. It begins with a brutal Indian raid on her pioneer settlement in Virginia where people are massacred and scalped. Pregnant Mary and her two sons are kidnapped and transported to an Indian village where they are held captive for several months, but Mary eventually manages to escape. Leaving her children behind, she begins a grueling 43-day trek 1,000 miles across the wilderness, with only the clothes on her back, a blanket, a knife, a tomahawk and a crazy old Dutch woman. The terrain is often mountainous and difficult, food is scarce and winter is approaching, but Mary is driven by a strong will to survive and to see her husband, Will, again. Her strength and courage is amazing and so is her story.

    At the end of the book is a note from the author where he explains how he compiled his information to write this book, as well as some additional information. (And just FYI, this book is about Mary INGLES, not Mary INGALLS of Little House on the Prairie fame.)

    PERFORMANCE - I can't quite understand why Audible chose a male to narrate the story of Mary Ingles. He tries his best to perform a female voice when she is supposed to be speaking but is not really able to inject proper emotion into that high voice. Sometimes the result is that she sounds too "perky" in what is otherwise a dire situation. Otherwise, he does a good job.

    OVERALL - I'd recommend this book for adults who enjoy stories of pioneer America and don't mind listening to hours of hardship, challenge and suffering. I don't know why Audible suggests this book for teens. There are no teen characters and, while older teens could certainly hear this story, I don't think they'd enjoy it. There's a tad of profanity and no sexual acts, though there is discussion of potential Indian rape. Mary flashes back to passionate evenings with her husband, but they're described with almost no detail. The Indian raid at the beginning of the book is totally gross, and some of the treatment of the prisoners in the Indian village was very cruel as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger 07-23-14
    Ginger 07-23-14
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    4
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    "I actually cried when it was over."
    Where does Follow the River rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to some amazing books but this story is the best ever.


    What other book might you compare Follow the River to and why?

    Unbroken, The Invention of Wings because of the amazing people and their incredible strength which serve as models to us all.


    What about David Drummond’s performance did you like?

    He took me on the journey with Mary and made me feel as if I were there every moment.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Mary's last obstacle to climb in the snow with no clothing or tools.


    Any additional comments?

    I kept researching the story while I was reading it. I must have looked at Mary's trail of escape a dozen times to try and picture where on the map she was. She must have been the bravest most courageous woman or man in history. I don't think anyone could succeed as she did with those insurmountable obstacles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fidge Wakefield, RI, United States 06-28-14
    Fidge Wakefield, RI, United States 06-28-14 Member Since 2011
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    "An unfortunate mismatch"

    Great story, but I couldn't stand the narration. Thom's voice is pleasant enough, but his pacing and cadence are completely wrong and very off-putting. He doesn't pause long enough when it's called for, nor does his delivery change when the story calls for it.

    Because I was enjoying the story, I ended up getting the book on Kindle.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-08-14
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The movie was better"

    This is a true story, out of the French and Indian war. It's well told but the movie of it was so much stronger. Somehow it did a better job of explaining the relationships that build between these very different people in a captive/captor situation.
    It does some real explaining, though, of the attitudes on raiding/ kidnapping in early America. You may find they're not what you think they are. Interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-07-14 Listener Since 2009
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    "wow!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I did recommend this book more than once. What a story! Kept me interested from the beginning. Excellent writing . you could actually feel the pain of the characters .Also very good description of life in that time in history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dorothy 05-06-14
    dorothy 05-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Outstanding"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is spectacular and even more so because at the end of the book, the author relates how he researched the facts surrounding the kidnapping of the main character. This book is a testament to the power of love, of determination, of spirit. This book is a must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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