Synopses & Reviews
In the summer of 1991 Michael Burke, an experienced river guide, embarks on a three-week journey down a series of remote rivers in British Columbia. Leaving behind his pregnant wife, he embraces the perils of a voyage with a companion he barely knows in a raft that may not weather the trip. He attempts to reconcile the shifting fates of his life his transition from river guide to husband, father, and academic. Ac the same time, he hopes to explore his connection to a distant relative, Sid Barrington, who was a champion swiftwater pilot of the North in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As Burke contemplates what Sid and he may have had in common, he meditates on the changing meaning of rivers and the impossibility of fully recovering the past. In clear and graceful prose, Burke blends Sid's colorful history with his own uncommon journey. He also reflects upon the quick currents of time and the fierce passion he shares with Sid for the life of river running in Alaska and the West. Unlike most river-running books, which describe waterways in the lower forty-eight states,
"Burke is an enormously capable writer, and, better yet, an immensely likable narrator. After issuing the disclaimer that no one can truly do justice in words to the beauty and vastness of the region, he does a damn fine job of it." Tuscon Weekly
About the Author
Michael Burke has been a whitewater guide for 35 years. He is an associate professor in the English Department at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and director of the honors program at the University of Maine at Farmington.