By turns rollicking and sombre, this memoir of a life spent on the water takes readers through the deep, still rivers and bubbling brooks that run through one man's life. As a boy growing up on the Chagrin River in Ohio, John Manuel was introduced to the solace and wonder of canoeing while riding in an old, battered boat under the guidance of his austere father. Slipping away from his constrictive home and his father's taunts, he rode the turbid river behind his house to escape. Years later, watching his elderly father succumb to cancer, he reflects with wry humour, vivid prose, and emotional depth on his double-edged initiation into a lifetime of canoeing. His friendships, trials, and victories - all the wonders and dangers of life - are set against the bends and currents of memorable or historic waterways.