Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New post coming up...

soon. But in the meantime, I want to talk about a book that survivialists should read. It's called Follow the River by James Alexander Thom. It's about a young woman kidnapped by some Indians. They take her away from her husband and kinfolks, to a place about 600 miles away. She knows that to escape and get back to her home, she'd have to walk those 600 miles, following the river. It's been a few years, and I can't remember the name of the river. Seems to me part of it was the Ohio, but I could be wrong. Anyway, she does escape and walks the entire way back, along with a plucky old woman who chooses to escape with her. Neither of them know much about wild plants they could eat. It is early fall when they escape. For a while they had a horse that they stole, and a hatchet, but they lose the horse or it gets killed and they lose the hatchet too. They eat whatever plants they find, most of which make them very sick, puking and hallucinating and feverish. And yet they keep going. The old woman goes bonkers more or less and decides to eat the young woman if she can catch her and kill her. The young woman is smarter than that and one night, crosses the river so that the old woman is on the other side of the river. They both continue following the river. It is a long, brutal, tough story, but they stick to it, and they are found by friends who immediately take them in and care for them. A fascinating survival tale--yes, it is fiction, but fiction anchored in the history, lore and feel of those times. Thom is a master storyteller and you'll enjoy the book. Unfortunately for me, it was before I really got into foraging and finding wild edibles--now I think I would get a lot more out of it. I'll read it again one of these days.


Terrence Maddox said...

Another good read is Captured by the Indians, 15 first hand accounts, 1750-1870.

This book is actually a great study of the way people lived and survived.

Patricia said...

Wow, Terrance. I'll look for that book. It sounds like it would be a terrific source of information on what people actually ate and how they lived and survived. Thanks.