A panorama of human desire and enterprise, Waterborne is set in the Great Depression and culminates at the Boulder Dam: the greatest engineering project of its time, and a beacon of hope capable of altering the course of society. The nation, crippled by poverty and despair, clearly needs a transformation, and the same is true of the people. Filius Poe grew up with everything, then nearly lost all of it. Lew Beck felt deprived of everything, and now means to have his revenge. Lena McCardell, who thought she had exactly what she wanted, discovers almost overnight that only by taking her son and joining the multitude already on the road will she have the chance of a fresh start and a brighter future. They are all drawn to the vast construction site in the Nevada desert, and along with them the stories of their families, friends and fellow travellers - the novel itself developing the force of a mighty river, then harnessing its prodigious energy. Exceptional for its ambition, its generosity, its grasp of history and, most of all, its characters, Waterborne announces with absolute authority the arrival of a major new American writer.