In the very near future, the combined forces of history and immigration have led to a crisis in relations between California and Mexico. A charismatic Mexican woman has gathered a vast group of one million Mexicans and is leading them on a non-violent march from deep in Mexico to the California border, in an attempt to reclaim Mexican land grant lands now part of California.
The narrator, journalist Sam Leonard, moves back and forth between the Governor of California, and the leader of the marchers, Maria Chavez. He sees the forces pressuring each of them, as their very different perspectives on the problems of Mexico and California reflect their very different constituencies. Sam eventually has to make a choice about what events he should spotlight and which ones he should overlook.
The March challenges attitudes on both sides of the border, as several characters, including the Governor of California ask, "How do you stop a million people when they all come at once?" Military confrontation, tense political negotiations, and armed groups taking unilateral action-all these ingredients make Like a Single River an exciting preview of events that may be moving from fiction to fact.