Follow the River Audiobook | James Alexander Thom | Audible.com
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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

4.1 (264 )
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4.2 (223 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 03-16-14
    Amazon Customer Utah 03-16-14 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

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    "Wow! Based on a true story."

    Wow! What a story! I was completely caught up in this story for most of the book. I was a bit surprised to find, after I had read the whole thing, that this story is based on fact. That makes it all the more amazing. Mr. Thom did so much great research on this story and then put together a compelling work of fact fleshed out by his own imagination. He lost me a little bit when the character Mary climbed over mountains for several days in a row stark naked in freezing weather with no food. I kept thinking, "If it is so cold that a rock cannot be budged from the frozen ground, surely this naked woman cannot survive for more than several hours without any kind of shelter and no food for any kind of energy." But survive she did. I also found myself thinking that with a river running right by her and a whole forest on both sides, surely a woman as smart and resourceful as she was could figure out a way to find food, start a fire (although understandably she did not want to so she wouldn't be found) and make herself some kind of covering. But even with that inconsistency, I really enjoyed the story. **Semi-spoiler alert:** I do have to add that I understand why she left, but will never understand how she could leave her children. Perhaps she intended to go back after them, but that did not happen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresia southeast VA, United States 11-11-13
    Teresia southeast VA, United States 11-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Love historical novels!"

    This is, in many ways, difficult to listen to....it is hard to realize that people actually went through all this hardship. This is based upon the life of Mary Wilder of Virginia. The story is told from Ms. Wilder's viewpoint of her hardships during her journey into captivity and back to her family. In order to survive she had to leave her baby who was born on the harrowing journey as a slave/captive, with a woman who loved her, and her older son, who was adopted by the Indian chief (her younger son died early on). I could barely stand to turn the book off to sleep. I understand why she left her children but I doubt I would have made that same choice. She knew that in order to survive she would likely almost be starving by the time she got back to her people, over a thousand miles of traveling by foot, and that her children had a better chance of survival if they stayed. I cannot even imagine how hard that must have been for her to do....she even wrote later that she had to harden her heart in order to leave them behind.

    It never ceases to amaze me how resilient people are and how they can overcome some of the most excruciatingly difficult challenges. If you like historical novels based on read events you will...enjoy is not the right word...but you will be glad you listened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 09-23-13
    Lorna Johannesburg, South Africa 09-23-13 Member Since 2010

    I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!

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    "We never know what the human spirit can endure!"

    Mary Ingles and her two sons are kidnapped by indians and taken 1000 miles away into rugged and unchartered territory. Along the way she endures giving birth in a trail, starvation, brutality and finally making a choice that no mother wishes to make.. ( I wont spoil it)

    She leaves the indian tribe and treks 1000miles back to her husband Will. The story is about human endurane - nothing spared, all her hardship narrated and her tenacity to reach home and her husband.

    A realistic, well researched book that is gripping and made me take sharp intakes of breath as she trekked across 1000 miles of unchartered territory.

    Its about faith, love, forgiveness and how we can survive - no matter what.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-19-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-19-13 Member Since 2009

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

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    "Story of Unbelievable Stamina and Determination"

    This novel comes from the true story of Mary Ingles, a young wife and mother in Virginia who was captured by the Shawnee Indians in 1755 and kept prisoner, along with her two young sons, and her sister-in-law. After killing many in her small settlement and burning them out, the Indians captured them and took them along the treacherous trails that would wind around the rivers until they would reach Big Bone Lick in what is now Kentucky. The trip, even on horseback, traveling to the salt lick with the Indians was frightening and dangerous, and Mary, who gave birth to a baby girl along the way, feared she would die. I was absolutely fascinated by this tale . . . having been born in the state of Kentucky and visited Big Bone Lick for myself . . . and having driven many times along the Ohio River which borders between Kentucky and Indiana, and Kentucky and Ohio . . . It is a giant, wide river that feeds into the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois. And equally amazing to me, as I have a son who lives in Virginia, and I frequently DRIVE the long drive over the mountains (so beautiful beneath the rising sunlight . . . I agree with Mary Ingles), is that any person, much less a woman could muster up the courage to drudge through that terrain to get home. The narration of this book is perfect, the thoughtfulness of the author in determining exactly what these two woman must have encountered during their horrendous journey is spot on , and the way in which he portrays their wide array of emotions is to be applauded. I cannot recommend it enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jorjeana Luttrell, TN, United States 09-19-13
    Jorjeana Luttrell, TN, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing story, but just a little too long."
    What did you like best about Follow the River? What did you like least?

    The characters were engaging and the story developed very quickly. I found myself horrified at Mary Ingalls' ordeal and wanted desperately for her to survive with her children. The first half of the story was filled with awful circumstances, but the strength of Mary's will was inspiring. But, somewhere deep in the second half of the book, it became excruciatingly boring. Too much detail about the trek back to her home left me wondering if I could even finish it. I found myself forwarding through entire sections to find the storyline.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Follow the River?

    The entire book was an amazing tale of the human spirit.


    Have you listened to any of David Drummond’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first with him as narrator, but I really enjoyed his performance and will look for others by him.


    Did Follow the River inspire you to do anything?

    It renewed a sense of pride in our forefathers and pilgrims here in America. Their strengths were tested on a daily basis and their sacrifice was very great.


    1 of 1 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

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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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toby Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada 06-24-12
    Toby Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada 06-24-12 Member Since 2002

    paulandtoby

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    "Unforgettable story of a woman's fight to get home"

    I thought that the story seemed a bit far-fetched at first, until I read that it was based on a true story! That is almost impossible to believe, but apparently this woman did survive this trek across the wilderness. Can be a little hard to read at times (i.e. the descriptions of the hardships she faced), but it is an amazing story of this woman's fortitude and sense of direction! :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 03-06-12
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Ok"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is amazing because it is a true story, but it was a bit drawn out and boring at times. I found myself wishing the author would get on with it. It was alright. I didn't love it, but I had to finish listening to see how it ended. The human spirit is amazing. The narrator was excellent.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia A. Martens Illinois, USA 04-06-14
    Patricia A. Martens Illinois, USA 04-06-14 Member Since 2013

    triciamartens

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    "Heroic Tale"
    What did you love best about Follow the River?

    It gave me a glimpse at the lives of the pioneers of this nation.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was an excellent story - kept me rivoted for hours.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Mary made it across the mountain, naked, starving, and near death and was nearly shot by the farmer and his sons.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried with Mary when she gave up her baby and again when she made it across the mountain.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent read - I would suggest it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Can't just sit and listen VA 03-04-14

    I like to listen while I exercise, do housework, knit, etc., so I usually prefer a light read for an audiobook.

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    "Interesting and compelling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it several times. I first read it many, many years ago, but the based-on-reality story is still compelling and inspiring.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Follow the River?

    The heroine being able to survive the winter in West Virginia with very little food and virtually no cover.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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