Many people will confess to a vague feeling that the Thames is alive. It's a bit like the moon. It works on a deep level that we don't have to think about. We can lose touch with our rivers, even though so many of us live, work and play in the proximity of these arteries, large and small. Rivers are old and most have a history, even a personal mythology that reflects a river's personality, its influence on the major settlements along its journey to the sea, its sex even. Many rivers are female, despite the potentially phallic shape of most of them. The very words we have to describe them reflect deep felt sentiments relating to this. The word Danu, a Hindu and Celtic goddess, gives name to rivers from Scotland to Nepal: Dee, Don, Danube, Dnieper, Dnister, Danu. From Peru to the Rhine, from the Yukatan peninsular to the Thames, across time and cultures, Tamsin Hopkins's stories flow compellingly. Whether strange, tragic or shot through with humour and an eye for detail, the stories are united by a human sensibility and elegant, accessible prose.