The rich history of river life in Kentucky permeates Janice Holt Giles's novel Run Me a River. Set in 1861, at the beginning of Kentucky's reluctant entry into the Civil War, the novel tells the story of a five-day adventure on the Green River. Aboard the Rambler, a ramshackle steamboat, Captain Bohannon Cartwright and his crew journey 184 miles and pick up two extra passengers along the way. The boatmenrescue "Sir Henry" Cole, a former Shakespearean actor, and his granddaughter Phoebe from their skiff when it overruns in a squall. As romance blossoms between Phoebe and Captain Bo, a conflict escalates between Confederate and Union forces fighting for control of the river.
Janice Holt Giles (1905-1979), author of nineteen books, lived and wrote near Knifley, Kentucky, for thirty-four years. Her biography is told in Janice Holt Giles: A Writer's Life.