Crossing the River is a novel written by Fenton Johnson. It was first published in 1991.
Carrying her Confederate heritage like a flag, Martha Bragg Pickett was as stubborn as her red hair. And hungry for life. On a date she crossed the river, leaving the safe, abstaining, Baptist, Southern side and venturing over to the dangerous, rowdy, Catholic Northern side. And when that proved less than thrilling, she marched her young self right into the (men only) Miracle Inn, which got a rise out of the owner Bernie Miracle, who thought he’d seen everything. But even Martha was shocked to find herself living on the wrong side of the river twenty years later, with a grown son, a tired marriage to Bernie, a handsome Yankee contractor newly arrived in town — and a well-remembered itch for a life that hadn’t been scratched since she made her first big, brave mistake.