Beacon’s River is a tale of ambition and human suffering in the mind and heart of a young man struggling for success as a novelist. Based on the life and career of nineteenth-century novelist George Gissing, the book is about a man wrestling with destiny as he dreams of making his mark in the world. Soon after his father dies, Andrew Beacon goes away to a Quaker boarding school with two younger brothers. An exemplary but lonely student, he wins a scholarship to a college known to be a stepping stone to Oxford or Cambridge. At eighteen, on the brink of realizing his dream, he meets a woman of the streets who changes the course of his life. After serving a month in prison, he leaves England to start over in America but returns a year later. Living in poverty with a drunken wife, he writes his first novels. When she dies at twenty-nine, he marries a woman whose violence drives him vixen-haunted from home. Badgered by loneliness and hardship but losing himself in his work, in time he finds the woman meant for him. The love they cherish before he dies completes the pattern of a life that runs like a tumultuous river from mountain to sea.