In the second book of Nancy Cato's All The Rivers Run series, Philadelphia "Delie" Gordon has grown a deep attachment to the Murray River while living in the town of Ecucha. She becomes owner of paddle-steamer and falls for a handsome young man named Brenton, and they raise their family aboard the boat. It seems like the perfect life, but Delie soon wishes to escape the norms of her conventional life, finding an outlet in her painting. Delie's frustrations and aspirations are given enormous depth thanks to Kate Hosking, who projects an unflappable strength that echoes the remarkable protagonist.
Whilst living in Echuca, Philadelphia Gordon has developed a strong attachment to the river, and a fascination for paddle steamers. When she becomes owner of a paddle steamer she wishes that she had been born a male and not bound by the conventions society imposes upon females.
When Delie meets a young handsome riverman, Brenton Edwards, she falls hopelessly in love with him. However, the future is not the idyll she had foreseen. She is dogged by tragedy and her mind becomes plagued by many questions. Will she ever escape the treadmill of motherhood? Is she doomed to forever be subordinate to a philandering, reckless husband?