Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were times while reading that I really didn't like it and almost quit and then times where I couldn't put it down. I like the story much more now that I have finished it and thought about it a little while...especially after reading the author's notes at the end and finding that it was written about an actual woman (I knew it was based on factual experiences but didn't realize it was the true story of one woman).
Some truly horrific scenes are described during the initial massacre of settlers by the Indians, the ordeals of the hostages back at the village and finally the long journey home. That innocent people really endured such atrocities left me feeling depressed and also grateful for their sacrifices. I thought often about what I would do in that situation and I would have just died I am sure of it!
The author did a lot of research for the book, even walking along the same river path, so the descriptions of the terrain are very detailed and accurate. At times I thought, "we get it it! another dang river to walk around!" but in the end it does make you admire Mary all the more for what she is able to accomplish. Some of his descriptions of her thoughts of her husband during the capture were nearly comical to me however and I thought more could have been said about her emotions with her children...I think those two aspects would have been better covered from a woman's perspective.
Overall, a very good book. I feel I have a better understanding of what life was like for the early settlers in New England and definitely an enormous admiration for Mary. The strength, determination and survival instinct she exhibited is truly unbelievable.
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