Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
Reviewed by Charlene Chambers
For my book review, I chose "Follow the River" by James Alexander Thom. I read this book about 15 years ago. It is considered historical fiction, which just means it is based on a true story and is embellished with more details.
The story is based on the true events of Mary Draper Ingels (not Little House on the Prairie person). Her settlement called Draper's Meadow, Virginia, was attacked by Shawnee Indians on Sunday, July 8, 1755. Many died and some were taken as prisoners to be sold as slaves, including Ingles, who was pregnant at the time, and her two young sons. The Indian warriors took the captives on a long journey west across the present-day Kentucky and Ohio.
By October of that same year, Ingels had escaped with a fellow Dutch captive named Ghetel. Both women walked over 500 miles of vast wilderness in 40 days, following the New River Gorge, surviving on whatever food could be found and trying to find shelter from cold, freezing temperatures along the way.
I liked that the author had a great attention for detail. His fifth wife Dark Rain Thom was a member of the Shawnee United Remnant Band and Thom traveled the same route as Ingels in order to have a better understanding of what she went through.
Since I love history and really like a story of conflict, this book had both of those elements