Once Upon a River: A Novel
by Diane Setterfield
Hardcover- $13.78

“One of the most pleasurable and satisfying new books I've read in a long time. Setterfield is a master storyteller...swift and ...

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  "Once Upon A River" by Silversolara (see profile) 12/11/18

Storytelling at the Swan is the favorite past time of the crowd and the reason so many men stop by for their drinks.

One night the storytelling became real when a man who had been hurt and a small girl who appeared as if she had drowned fell through the inn’s front door.

Then a miracle happened....the girl came alive again. The townspeople and their storytelling ways had many questions, and some thought the girl was one of their own who had passed.

We follow the characters as they try to interpret what happened as we are treated to Ms. Setterfield’s beautiful, poetic, descriptive style.

And...we can’t forget the character, the Thames River....it is a part of everyone’s lives and what the story line revolves around.

The ending of each character’s story made the statement....”Something is going to happen,” and something definitely did.

ONCE UPON A RIVER beautifully and slowly unfolded as the mystery of the little girl was revealed and as we learn about the lives of the characters.

If you enjoy a Gothic theme, and a story line with intriguing as well as odd characters, ONCE UPON A RIVER should be a book you will enjoy.

I do have to say it was a bit long, but Ms. Setterfield's marvelous storytelling skills make you want it to go on even longer especially once the mystery is revealed and you find out more about the characters. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/28/19

I’m a fan of Diane Setterfield’s writing. She is a great storyteller.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/02/19

Well written.

  "once upon a river" by Carolynr (see profile) 04/12/19

i'ave read a few of the not as highly rated reviews and I get their comments. Some felt the blackness and racism of the time was not portrayed appropriately and realistically. I say this is just a story. Was Armstrong treated the way he described in real life...probably not. But its a STORY. having said that I truly enjoy reading this author.. Her writing is excellent and while there are a lot of characters and stories going on, i did not feel lost like i do in some books. Her writing stayed on point. I loved the THIRTEENTH TALE so was pretty sure this might be good as well. yes its part fairy tale, part fable, a little science thrown in , which i thought made it very interesting. Takes place in the 1800's when some of that is coming up and society is going to be changing. I think it was well worth the read.

  "" by Huguenot (see profile) 05/21/19

  "Storytelling vs Life...is there a difference" by Bodacious (see profile) 07/12/19

Hint- you need to make it past the first 80 pages; Then it will all become clear; Well written prose surrounding the river and how life compares. Our club fell in love with many of the characters. The author does an amazing job of putting everything beautifully together. Our club had a great discussion.

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  "" by ebach (see profile) 12/02/19

Diane Setterfield's ONCE UPON A RIVER is four mysteries with the Thames River as the backdrop. The foremost mystery is that of a nearly drowned (not really "returned to life," as explained in Setterfield's "Note") four-year-old girl. No one knows who she is, and she doesn't speak. The other three mysteries are of girls who have gone missing, feared drowned in the Thames. Could the unknown, nearly drowned girl be one of the three missing girls?

This book is told in the writing style of a fairytale, which turned me off for the first 60 or so pages. I almost didn't continue reading until I read in Setterfield's "Note" that one of the characters is based on an actual photographer of the Thames at the time of this story. After I read a few more pages, I got used to this writing style and found I enjoyed the mysteries.

But I admit ONCE UPON A RIVER does sound as corny as a fairytale sometimes, and I even expected "and they all lived happily ever after" at the end. Sure enough, the last chapter is called "Happily Ever After."

I won this book from Atria Books.

  "" by KRoby (see profile) 04/28/20

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/18/20

It was a very slow and detailed read but also fascinating in its own way. Pretty much everything happens in the last 40 pages so if you feel like giving up but keep going back to it, make sure you at least read the final few chapters to hear how everything turns out. I liked that there was an eerie, haunting quality to the book while still having interesting characters and multiple story lines. I listened to the audio book after initially buying the digital book because that was easier for me!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/13/20

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  "" by MKNawrocki (see profile) 11/17/20

  "Magical story" by scotlass66 (see profile) 12/11/20

In Once Upon a River, on the dark night of the winter solstice, a wounded stranger shows up at an old inn by the river with a dead child in his arms. A few hours later, against all odds, the dead child stirs and is alive again. What follows is a tale of magic, hope, love, redemption, and so much more.

This story reads like a folklore, rich and lyrical. There are many parts to this carefully crafted tale, and they are all woven deftly into one cohesive narrative. I was struck by the richly imagined characters, and in particular, the strong females, who totally appealed to me.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/20/21

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