A poignant voyage of discovery down the great Mississippi.
Praised by such authors as John Barth, and George V. Higgins, Dan Spurr's gently powerful memoir, Steered by the Falling Stars, captured the hearts of readers with its story of death, rebirth, and redemption and its evocative description of life under sail. Now, Spurr takes us on another adventure, a voyage into not only the heartland of contemporary America but also back into the rough and ready days of exploration and discovery 250 years ago.
Following the trail of the enigmatic French explorer Rene de La Salle, Spurr takes his seven-year-old son Steve and his grown daughter Adriana down the Mississippi from Chicago to New Orleans in the rundown, underpowered Belle. Throughout the journey, the juxtaposition of modern America on the river's banks and the untamed wilds of La Salle's day, as revealed through journals and historical documents, illuminates the changes in the land and its people over the intervening centuries.
The inexorable flow of Spurr's clean and honest prose mirrors that of this greatest of American rivers. The voices of the river's denizens and the keen observations of the author's young and wide-eyed shipmates take us deep into the heart of an ever-changing American landscape.