Fish, “the funniest, happiest, stupidest kid”, drowns at the age of nine in the estuary at Margaret River. Lester, his father, and Quick, his brother, actually drown Fish in their attempt to save him. Oriel, his mother, beats the water out of him, and life back into him. (p 27 – 31)

Rose and Quick first really see one another. (p 307)

The wheatbelt scenes (p 195) include images of a sea of wheat over which Quick, injured, sees Fish rowing in an orange box boat. (p 200 -1, 203)

Oriel and Quick go prawning and speak together as adults for the first time. (p 266)

Lester and Quick go out on their boat and talk of life, what matters and what it means to love. “Easy to be a good man out here – there’s no one else to think of.” (p 304)

“Joel was on his knees clutching his heart.” (p 23)

“In the afternoon the old man buys a boat.” (p 109) Quick and Fish row the boat home. “Lester found them at dawn, asleep and aground in the shallows along the foreshore at Nedlands.” (p 116)

“She knew this scene. Her life always came back to the river. A long time ago she’d been baptized in a river. She’d kissed Lester Lamb by the river the first time … And that night, that long, horrid night by the estuary at Margaret, when her men had walked on water and the lamp had gone out ..” (p 176)

“With the cord of her dressing gown she ties you to the tree, Fish, even while you sleep because she knows what you’ll do.” (p 178)

“Remember wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be many fish, for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea will become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.” (p 178)

Quick goes out in Earl’s dory. (p 214) “Now the boat vibrated like a cathedral with all these fish arching, beating, sliding, bucking, hammering.” (p 216)

“He was comfortable out there on the water … The river was a broad, muttering, living thing always suggesting things to keep his mind busy. Every important thing that had...