"One could do worse than to grow up on a river." In his new collection of essays, Wayne Curtis voyages back through the tributaries of his past, throwing a pastoral net over the backwaters of his childhood to ensnare the sepia-tinged moments of love, loss, and life lessons he gleaned through his rise to maturity on the waterways of New Brunswick. As Proust recalled his past through the delicate taste of a madeleine, so, too, Curtis ruminates on growing up on the Miramichi, albeit through the more uniquely Canadian flavour of the home-cooked doughnut. Curtis writes of the simple pleasures of fishing with friends, of one's first unforgettable kiss, and of a father who teased his children that "all dreams that were told before breakfast had a better chance of becoming real." Of Earthly and River Things is at once a nostalgic trek through history and elegy for a vanishing culture, a world where its people were grateful to the river for its bounty.