Red Heart

James Alexander Thom, Author
James Alexander Thom, Author Ballantine Books $25 (448p) ISBN 978-0-345-39004-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 544 pages - 978-0-345-36471-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-01168-7
Open Ebook - 383 pages - 978-0-307-76313-6
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Having already produced one novel about a white woman captured by the Shawnee, popular historical novelist Thom (Follow the River) uses an actual captivity narrative as the inspiration for an ambitious, epic novel based on the well-known true-life story of Frances Slocum. The five-year-old daughter of a Pennsylvania Quaker family, Slocum was kidnapped by Delaware Indians in 1778 and adopted by an Indian woman who raised the child as her own. In Thom's telling of her story, we see Slocum grow into a respected figure among the Miamis, becoming Maconakwa--Little Bear Woman--and raising a family on her own. The events of her life are set against the gradual destruction of Indian life on the early U.S. frontier. After Tecumseh's historic defeat at the hands of treacherous future president William Henry Harrison, the Miamis are banished from their lands and Maconakwa is forced to choose between the two cultures. Her choice reveals that she does indeed have the ""red heart"" of the title. Thom's research is exhaustive, his eye for detail impressive. The scope of his tale will draw in readers undaunted by his natural expansiveness. (Oct.)
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