Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River

Diane Setterfield / Aug 23, 2019

Once Upon a River A dark midwinter s night in an ancient inn on the Thames The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger In his arms is the drowned corpse

  • Title: Once Upon a River
  • Author: Diane Setterfield
  • ISBN: Once Upon a River
  • ISBN
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A dark midwinter s night in an ancient inn on the Thames The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.Is it a miracle Is it magic Or can it be explained by science Replete with folklore, su A dark midwinter s night in an ancient inn on the Thames The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.Is it a miracle Is it magic Or can it be explained by science Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale Get A Copy Kindle Store UKOnline StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 464 pages Published December 4th 2018 by Atria Emily Bestler Books More Details Original Title Once Upon a River ISBN 0743298071 ISBN13 9780743298070 Edition Language English Other Editions 15 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Once Upon a River, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Where how can I get an advance copy of this book I dont think I can wait until January If its half as good as The Thirteenth Tale, Ill be thrilled I love the way Diane Setterfield writesher prose, the research, the detail, etc all add up to a great read Although I didnt enjoy Bellman Black as much as her 1st book, it was still a wonderfully written, enjoyable storycant wait for Once Upon a River 4 likeslike 8 months ago See all 5 answers Leah Rachel von Essen Reviewing sources such as Netgalley have it Please do not buy advance reading copies on EBay It is illegal for people to be selling them, and hurts Reviewing sources such as Netgalley have it Please do not buy advance reading copies on EBay It is illegal for people to be selling them, and hurts the authors sales numbers less flag Would this book be appropriate for a young teen to read 1 likelike 43 days ago See all 4 answers Karen There is some not too descriptive sex a couple of times, da n is said a couple of times as well There is also talk of murder, death, suicide, There is some not too descriptive sex a couple of times, da n is said a couple of times as well There is also talk of murder, death, suicide, prostitution, etc but all mildly Nothing is graphic less flag See all 10 questions about Once Upon a River Lists with This Book 2018 December Releases 53 books 67 voters 2019 What Women Born In The 1970s Have Read So Far This Year 644 books 179 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Oct 05, 2018 Emily May rated it it was amazing Shelves arc, 2018, magical realism, historical fiction Along the borders of this world lie others.There are places you can cross.This is one such place. This is a beautiful story It s a genre crosser something of a historical mystery told like a fairy tale with magical realism Everything straddles the line between reality and the supernatural, and sometimes it steps over into the fantastical, which might be surprising for fans of Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale I think it works really well, though I should point out that the story is very s Along the borders of this world lie others.There are places you can cross.This is one such place. This is a beautiful story It s a genre crosser something of a historical mystery told like a fairy tale with magical realism Everything straddles the line between reality and the supernatural, and sometimes it steps over into the fantastical, which might be surprising for fans of Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale I think it works really well, though I should point out that the story is very slow burn and that s how the whole book unfolds there s no aha moment when the pace suddenly starts racing It s a gentle, often sad, story of the magic in the mundane, and the normal in the seemingly miraculous Setterfield sets the tale along the banks of a fictional River Thames in an unspecified time that feels a hundred years or so before ours True to our own history, this time is rife with superstition and folklore, tales of ghosts and fortune telling This allows for some uncertainty over what is supernatural and what exists in the minds of superstitious people Does Bess really have the ability to look into someone s soul and see their true self, or is she just a woman adept at reading people I think that s what makes this story so thrilling The line between our reality and the possibility of the supernatural is a fine one I love fairy tales that open your eyes to the many magical things in our own world.The story follows many characters and is largely centred around an inn called The Swan One night, an injured man stumbles into the inn carrying a dead child A child who sometime later is alive Not only is this a mystery in itself, but so is the child s identity Where did she come from Could she be the missing daughter of the Vaughans who disappeared two years earlier Could she be the grandchild of Mr Armstrong The child in question does not speak a word The rhythm of the train on the tracks suggested words to his overtired brain and he heard them as clearly as if an unseen person had pronounced them Something is going to happen. As with The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield really emphasizes the power of stories to shape people The lore believed by these characters plays into their everyday lives, defining them They are all so well drawn, living seemingly simple working class lives, but hiding dark secrets and traumas that will, of course, come back to haunt them Perhaps literally This is a gorgeous fairy tale, woven with everything that gives fairy tales their timeless quality It is a quieter, grounded in reality version of Katherine Arden or Naomi Novik The feel reminds me somewhat of 2012 s The Snow Child, but with a very different setting and a bigger cast of characters.Fans of quiet fairy tales about people and maybe magic should love this Warnings for view spoiler physical on page and sexual off page abuse hide spoiler There must be to stories than you think. Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flag 583 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Nov 18, 2018 Chelsea Humphrey rated it really liked it Recommended to Chelsea by Leigh Kramer Shelves from publisher It was solstice night, the longest night of the year And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds Unexpected things can happen Did the solstice have anything to do with the strange events at the swan You will have to judge for yourself As a newcomer to Diane Setterfield s work and hearing what a legend she is in the book community, I was excited and a little bit anxious to see how I would receive her brand of storytelling I w It was solstice night, the longest night of the year And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds Unexpected things can happen Did the solstice have anything to do with the strange events at the swan You will have to judge for yourself As a newcomer to Diane Setterfield s work and hearing what a legend she is in the book community, I was excited and a little bit anxious to see how I would receive her brand of storytelling I was blessed beyond all measure to read this alongside dear friend Leigh Kramer, and knew that no matter what the outcome we would have delightful discussions along the way From the very first page I knew this story would be something special the lush prose and dreamlike atmosphere were enticing, and Setterfield s gift in speaking directly to the reader drew me in and gripped me like a vice until I turned the final page When the cold river doesn t feel cold, that s when you know you re in trouble I ve seen some varied opinions of this book, and what I ve noticed so far is how, whether feelings of delight or boredom, readers have strong opinions of this story As someone who was able to go into this knowing that it would be a slow burn from start to finish, I think it gave me the perspective I needed to pick it up at just the right time so that I could let the story guide me gently along, rather than feeling like I had to cram it in and blow through it in a hurried frenzy For those looking for a fast paced, plot driven mystery, you won t find it here, but for those searching out a unique story tinged with just the right amount of magic to keep you wondering if this story is indeed supernatural, let me introduce you to Once Upon A River All she was left with when she rose stiffly and took her coat off to go to bed was a deep and impenetrable mystery.OUAR is the type of story that I could spend pages writing about the atmosphere and feels , but I also want to take a moment to discuss the characters There is quite a large cast in this book, and it does take a good chunk before everyone becomes familiar and things begin to fall into place and connect I found myself texting Leigh frequently asking wait, now who is this again And who do they belong to in the story because she is gifted in keeping up with all of the confusing things in life I highly recommend finding a Leigh, but you can t have mine. It was interesting to see which characters we clicked with instantly, which had to grow on us, which ones we hated throughout, and how some of our views changed as the story progressed And now, dear reader, the story is over It is time for you to cross the bridge once and return to the world you came from This river, which is and is not the Thames, must continue flowing without you You have haunted here long enough, and besides, you surely have rivers of your own to attend to This book was so wonderful, and I think the author did a fantastic job of portraying a vivid, diverse cast of a small town community in the late 1800 s, and I believe my only minor issue was with the way the story ended for one character, Rita While I can t go into detail here due to spoilers, I was a little disappointed that her personality and morals took a 180 in the very final passages, as she was my absolute favorite character in the book for those reasons Overall though, there s not much to complain about here OUAR was the kind of book that makes you believe in rich, traditional storytelling once again, and includes the type of writing that feels somehow elevated from most current publications Highly recommended for anyone looking for a novel that will sweep you away into a whirl of magic you had forgotten existed since you were a child Thank you Atria Books for providing my review copy. flag 199 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Barbara Sissel I loved this book Jan 17, 2019 07 27AM Patti I ve just started this book, listening to it on tape It s so enjoyable so far and I m anxious to get back in my car so I can continue the story For I ve just started this book, listening to it on tape It s so enjoyable so far and I m anxious to get back in my car so I can continue the story For those new to Diane Setterfield do yourself a favor Read or better yet listen to The Thirteenth Tale It s one of my favorites I ve read it and listened to it on tape twice Jan 29, 2019 08 49PM Sep 13, 2018 Debra rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley On a deep, dark night at an inn located on the Thames river, the regulars have gathered to swap stories, drink and unwind from their days The evening is like any other night at the inn, until an injured stranger walked in carrying what they believe to be a doll in his arms and collapses After calling upon the local midwife nurse, they learn that the doll is a young girl A young girl who appears to be dead after drowning in the river yet lives No one recognizes the man or the child Word g On a deep, dark night at an inn located on the Thames river, the regulars have gathered to swap stories, drink and unwind from their days The evening is like any other night at the inn, until an injured stranger walked in carrying what they believe to be a doll in his arms and collapses After calling upon the local midwife nurse, they learn that the doll is a young girl A young girl who appears to be dead after drowning in the river yet lives No one recognizes the man or the child Word gets out, as word often does, and the villagers begin whispering their theories There are also families out there with missing daughters Those who desperately want their child back, those who want to see this four year girl to determine if she is their missing loved one The girl never appears to recognize anyone, nor does she speak She looks longingly at the river as if waiting for something or someone.Like the Thames river, this book flowed There are a lot of characters in this book and after a couple of chapters I had them straight Setterfield has built a community of characters who have their own backstories and history All the families and back stories are important So, no skimming This book felt epic in nature It s also atmospheric with the river, the rain, the countryside I could imagine everything that was happening We are not told the year, but this took place after photography was invented, so I placed this during the mid 1800 s.As with all books, there will be characters the reader likes and those we are not meant to like Armstrong and Rita were my favorites I loved Rita s inquisitive mind and her dedication to science and conducting experiments to make sense of things medically such as how does cold water affect the heart rate Living in a time of superstition and belief in magic, she was ahead of her times in my opinion Armstrong was a gentleman who loved his family and was decent and kind even when there were those who were not kind to him.This book relies on folklore and the mystery of the missing girl But this is not the only story mystery in this book Setterfield has crafted many stories within her story novel Each family is distinct and as the plot unravels, the reader learns that there is than one mystery in this book Not only do most characters have backstories as I previously mentioned, there is also the story of Quietly a character I wasn t sure was real or a piece of local folklore used to explain life and death on the Thames I loved the writing, descriptions, and the way the plot unfolded in the end With each twist and revelation, came new information, leaving me with several aha moments while reading This book is on the longer side and at times it felt a little long but then, at book s completion, I understood the reason for its length Initially, while reading, I thought perhaps this book could use a little editing, but again, once I was finished, I appreciated knowing all the information and it all came together in the end Keep in mind that although this book has mystery and some suspense, it is largely character driven For me this made for a slower yet very satisfying read This is not a book one should plow through or try to read in one day, take your time and again, no skimming Even if you think something is unimportant, most likely that will just be the part, that you need to pay attention the most Atmospheric, well written, engaging and interesting This was like reading a fairy tale for grown ups Setterfield has proven yet again that she is a great story teller Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.Read of my reviews at openbookpost flag 222 likesLike see review View all 37 comments Dec 06, 2018 Angela M rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley reviews I was attracted to something that I read about this book which describes an inn where people came to tell their stories The thought of that reminded me of Canterbury Tales, read many, many years ago in college about travelers telling their stories There are many stories here to be told and I was drawn in from the beginning by the descriptive writing of the River Thames, the characters I was on the river, at the inn and in the lives of this cast of characters I always hesitate to use the wo I was attracted to something that I read about this book which describes an inn where people came to tell their stories The thought of that reminded me of Canterbury Tales, read many, many years ago in college about travelers telling their stories There are many stories here to be told and I was drawn in from the beginning by the descriptive writing of the River Thames, the characters I was on the river, at the inn and in the lives of this cast of characters I always hesitate to use the word atmospheric because it s used so often, but in this case it s the best word I can come up with to describe the feel of this novel.Something happens at the inn known for story telling, the Swann at Radcot when an injured man and a little girl appearing to be dead show up Shortly after, Rita, the nurse who could easily be a doctor, is examining the little girl and then she s not really dead any This is not just the story of the girl, who mesmerizes anyone who sees her While she is an attraction to many people, she also represents hope to others who have lost a little girl, wanting her to be theirs Is she the Vaughn s missing daughter Amelia or is she the Armstrong s granddaughter Alice or is she Lily White s little sister Ann who has been missing or will she belong to Rita, who it seems has brought her back to life Does she belong to anyone There is mystery and magical realism and the fairy tale like quality of the girl was reminiscent for me of The Snow Child I needed to be patient with this one because I felt it was slow at times and maybe a little long Having said that, the writing is lovely and there are a number of characters to connect with I loved the ending This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review flag 186 likesLike see review View all 65 comments Dec 04, 2018 Mary Beth Traveling Sister rated it really liked it The Swann is an ancient Inn, along the Thames where lots of storytelling is done there On a dark night someone was telling a story the door opened and a newcomer came in They were trying to make sense of what they were seeing They thought it might of been a monster from a folk tale Once there senses came togethor, they noticed in his arms was a puppet with a face and limbs and painted hair.The man was unconscious and they put him on a table They thought he was dead Margot, the owner of the The Swann is an ancient Inn, along the Thames where lots of storytelling is done there On a dark night someone was telling a story the door opened and a newcomer came in They were trying to make sense of what they were seeing They thought it might of been a monster from a folk tale Once there senses came togethor, they noticed in his arms was a puppet with a face and limbs and painted hair.The man was unconscious and they put him on a table They thought he was dead Margot, the owner of the inn, laid a feather in his lips and it moved He was breathing No one knew him Jonathaon put the puppet on his lap He noticed that the puppets hair was made with real hair and it s ears looked so real He gave it a shake and the arm swung from its shoulder Then he noticed it was a little girl She wouldn t wake up They thought she drowned and was dead Rita thought she was four years old She had no pulse and wasn t breathing The girl was dead before she went into the water There was no sign on how she died After some time the corpse opened her eyes The girls head moved Her eyes closed again and they noticed her chest was moving She was breathing in and out What made this girl come alive again Who does she belong to Is it a miracle or is it magic Did it have anything to do with the winter solstice This book was so beautifully written You could just get lost in the prose I just loved the atmosphere I love this author and loved The Thirteenth Tale by her, so I just had to read this one I loved it just as much I thought this was a character driven novel and thought the characters were well done I just loved Rita The book needs to be read slow, there was a little confusion for me, but then all the peices came together and it then becomes a mystery It is a thought provoking novel It really makes you think I thought it was very enchanting and it was very well crafted The book is part historical fiction, a little fantasy, magical realism, and mystery Just a little something for everyone Even though it has a slow burn to it, I suggest to keep reading it because it gets a lot better I am so happy that I stuck with it I highly recommend it, if you don t mind a slow burn.I want to thank Atria Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for the copy of this book t n exchange for a honest review flag 149 likesLike see review View all 76 comments Dec 06, 2018 Jennifer TarHeelReader rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 reads, arcs, kindle version Storytelling perfection I have read nothing like Once Upon a River A modern fairy tale Quite a bit of suspense and mystery and wonder and charm Once Upon a River takes place in a historic ancient inn on the River Thames in England This inn is famous for its storytelling and its storytellers, and in fact, when a mysterious stranger with obvious physical injuries incoherently bursts into the inn with a commotion, stories are in the midst of being told The stranger eventually pa Storytelling perfection I have read nothing like Once Upon a River A modern fairy tale Quite a bit of suspense and mystery and wonder and charm Once Upon a River takes place in a historic ancient inn on the River Thames in England This inn is famous for its storytelling and its storytellers, and in fact, when a mysterious stranger with obvious physical injuries incoherently bursts into the inn with a commotion, stories are in the midst of being told The stranger eventually passes out, but not before the body of a dead young girl is removed from his arms But she s not dead She comes back to life Was she ever dead Questioning miracles, science in the age of Darwin, and magical powers which one caused the girl to be alive again I felt like Diane Setterfield was sitting by the fire in an ancient English inn telling me a story I ve never heard her voice, but I ve imagined it She followed me on Twitter, which has me majorly star struck, I must say, especially when she tells stories this way Ahhh Sitting by that roaring fire, I snuggled right up into this book There was something warm about it, a touch dark, romantic, tense, mystical, and every one of those things added up to a book I quite simply adored This is another one of those novels that requires patience on the part of the reader While it reads smoothly, it s a chunk of a book, and it s one you will savor So much imagination and inventiveness went into this gem, and it s worth every extra minute of investment to get to the heart of the full story In other words I give this one my highest recommendation If you can be patient, that is Thanks to Atria Books for the complimentary copy All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog jennifertarheelreader flag 142 likesLike see review View all 35 comments Dec 02, 2018 Susanne Strong rated it really liked it Shelves buddy read, netgalley 4 Fantastical Stars A Tale of Folklore, Legend, Magic and Mystery Late one night at a pub called the Swan at Radcot on the River Thames, villagers unwind with a pint, as they often do A man comes to the door with the body of a cold, lifeless girl in his arms and promptly passes out He sleeps for days Rita Sunday, the town medic, checks them both over To her astonishment, she soon discovers that the young girl is, in fact, alive People come from near and far to see her, including three f 4 Fantastical Stars A Tale of Folklore, Legend, Magic and Mystery Late one night at a pub called the Swan at Radcot on the River Thames, villagers unwind with a pint, as they often do A man comes to the door with the body of a cold, lifeless girl in his arms and promptly passes out He sleeps for days Rita Sunday, the town medic, checks them both over To her astonishment, she soon discovers that the young girl is, in fact, alive People come from near and far to see her, including three families, all of whom claim her as their own The Vaughns, whose daughter Amelia, went missing two years ago Lily White, age 40, who believes this girl is her sister Ann and finally Robert Armstrong, who is positive that she is his son Robin s missing daughter, Alice Armstrong This girl is mute and is completely unanimated, except when watching the river, watching and waiting, for what, we do not know It is said that the river is known for taking care of its own For bringing back lost things and saving people from harm That a man named Quietly guards it, only bringing back those to safety who actually deserve it.Who is this little girl and to whom does she belong That is the question You ll have to take a trip to the Thames, to find out Once Upon A River is a dark, atmospheric novel, layered with folklore, magic, mystery and elements of the supernatural, thus I was immediately swept away by this eerie epic saga The richness of the characters are multi faceted and they made this story so very magical They include Henry Daunt, the photographer who notices things others do not, Bess Armstrong, who has some very unusual traits, Rita Sunday whose strength everyone relies on and Robert Armstrong, whose heart is as true as his word Here, Diane Setterfield examines mystical elements she takes the readers away, and lets us escape to another time and place, to people who have special abilities, some of whom can see into the heart of others, some who may see things that we do not It depends on whether or not you believeThis is a novel which includes vivid descriptions, all of which enraptured me with their elegance and their fierceness and simply captured my heart Once Upon a River has multiple storylines, all of which are interwoven together brilliantly as each and every storyline in this novel falls together in a way I never would have imagined What can I say except that this is a novel to read slowly and cherish It is a great read for lovers of epic novels, readers who like magical realism and those who like rich character driven novels Once Upon a River is the first book I ve read by Diane Setterfield and it won t be my last This was a another buddy read with Kaceey Thank you to Meriah Murphy at Atria, NetGalley and to Diane Setterfield for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Published on NetGalley Twitter and Instagram on 12.2.18.Will be published on on 12.4.18 flag 136 likesLike see review View all 73 comments Nov 30, 2018 Diane S rated it really liked it 4 A wonderful homage to the art of storytelling I come from a long line of storytellers, summers when my cousins were led on ghost walks by our fathers and uncles as they told ghoststories We all loved those times Stories I made up to tell my children when they were young, and then stories I told my grandchildren Such fun, pre internet days when stories were magic, or scary, but such a great way to connect.All along the Thames are a group of inns, each in has a specialty, music in one, art 4 A wonderful homage to the art of storytelling I come from a long line of storytellers, summers when my cousins were led on ghost walks by our fathers and uncles as they told ghoststories We all loved those times Stories I made up to tell my children when they were young, and then stories I told my grandchildren Such fun, pre internet days when stories were magic, or scary, but such a great way to connect.All along the Thames are a group of inns, each in has a specialty, music in one, art in another, but it is the Swan In where villagers go to hear and tell stories, and it is here that this particular story begins A man, half drowned, bsd badly injured, stumbles into the inn carrying domething in his arms It is what looks like a young dead girl, but here the story starts it s twist The girl, determined to be able four, returns to life Three different people claim her as theirs, but who is she really Folklore has it that a man, travels the Thanks, ferrying to the other side those that have drowned, but returning to land those whose time has not come.So we mix folklore, with storytelling, and a mystery with some magical happenings We meet some people who have had tragedy in their lives, all with their own stories and how this young girl fits into them A delicious Gothic tone, and some key elements A river, water, the giver and taker life, in fact most chapters begin with a look at the river A slowly paced book, a book to settle in with and not rush through Setterfield has again written a book that intrigues, pulls the reader in, slowly giving us a tidbits here and there as we try to piece it all together And always in the background the importance of stories and storytelling in our livesC from Edelweiss flag 139 likesLike see review View all 42 comments Jan 06, 2019 Paromjit rated it it was amazing Shelves literary fiction, mystery, netgalley Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is an ode to rivers and a celebration of the imagination and art of storytelling set in the Victorian era around the local communities living in Oxford next to the Thames Once upon a time in an ancient inn, The Swan, where storytellers are revered beyond measure, an injured stranger bursts through its doors, falling down unconscious clutching the corpse of a drowned young girl The dead girl comes to life, afflicted by a muteness, sparking a desire in othe Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is an ode to rivers and a celebration of the imagination and art of storytelling set in the Victorian era around the local communities living in Oxford next to the Thames Once upon a time in an ancient inn, The Swan, where storytellers are revered beyond measure, an injured stranger bursts through its doors, falling down unconscious clutching the corpse of a drowned young girl The dead girl comes to life, afflicted by a muteness, sparking a desire in others to take her in Stories of this miracle burgeon, spreading like wildfire, taking on a life of their own, emulating the nature of Chinese Whispers as the lines between reality and fiction blur Amidst the swirling geography, poetry and spirit of the river, the flow of the Thames encompasses the past, present, and the future The Thames is a mighty goddess of nature, the giver and taker of life, generous in offering fertility, wild, capricious, unbridled and dangerous, around which has spawned myths, legends and folklore, such as the ghostly ferryman, Quietly, offering rescue or a trip to the other side Missing girls, loss, grief, love, scientific research are embedded within this meandering and twisted tale It is inhabited by goodly folk, alongside those sinister, existing on the darker side of humanity Setterfield beguiles and entrances with a novel of life and death, family, pig rustling, fairground trickery, kidnap and murder with a river that exercises its own natural justice Her storytelling is structured around the central role of storytelling of the characters that vibrates within and revitalises Oxford s communities of this historical period, mirroring the qualities of the river An astounding, lyrical, stellar and beautiful novel Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC flag 127 likesLike see review View all 25 comments Dec 16, 2018 Karen rated it really liked it 4.5 I just loved this book and it s cast of characters There is an Inn along the river called the Swan, where storytellers gather to drink and spin their magic tales on cold winter nights One night, in walks a terribly injured man carrying a dead little girl There are a few possibilities of who she could be.Some magical occurrence seems to take place regarding the girl, she s actually alive, when previously thought dead by the local midwife nurse.This story took me on a journey filled with mag 4.5 I just loved this book and it s cast of characters There is an Inn along the river called the Swan, where storytellers gather to drink and spin their magic tales on cold winter nights One night, in walks a terribly injured man carrying a dead little girl There are a few possibilities of who she could be.Some magical occurrence seems to take place regarding the girl, she s actually alive, when previously thought dead by the local midwife nurse.This story took me on a journey filled with magic, love, hardship, and a sense of peace also about when our time here is up.Recommended flag 123 likesLike see review View all 41 comments Dec 07, 2018 Larry H rated it really liked it It was a dark and stormy nightWell, not exactly But it is a dark night in 1887, the solstice night, the longest night of the year As is well known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks They nod at noon, dream in waking hours, open their eyes wide to the pitch black night It is a time of magic And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds Dreams and stories merge wi It was a dark and stormy nightWell, not exactly But it is a dark night in 1887, the solstice night, the longest night of the year As is well known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks They nod at noon, dream in waking hours, open their eyes wide to the pitch black night It is a time of magic And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds Dreams and stories merge with lived experience, the dead and the living brush against each other in their comings and goings, and the past and the present touch and overlap Unexpected things can happen A crowd has gathered at The Swan, an ancient inn on the Thames River The crowd is prone to storytelling, and no one tells a story like Joe Bliss, the husband of the Swan s landlady But that night a story all its own takes shape a wounded man comes staggering in and collapses, caught by some of the men at the inn He appears to be carrying a doll or puppet of some sort, but the crowd is once again shocked when they discover it s not a puppet, but the lifeless body of a small child Her skin shimmered like water The folds of her cotton frock were plastered to the smooth lines of the limbs, and her head tilted on her neck at an angle no puppeteer could achieve She was a little girl, and they had not seen it, not one of them, though it was obvious When Rita Sunday, the town s most reliable medical personnel, arrives, she takes care of the unconscious man and mends his wounds, and then examines the little girl No one is sure what the little girl s connection is to the man, but a pall falls over the crowd at her untimely and tragic death And then, a few hours later, she starts breathing again No one, not even Rita, who searches for a scientific answer, understands how this could have happened.Who is this little girl To whom does she belong Where is she from How is she connected to the wounded man No one can find out any answers, especially because the little girl is mute and cannot provide any information But of course, that doesn t stop those from near and far from inventing stories that explain her situation And while fictions grow and become elaborate, there are three families who believe the little girl belongs to them, and each has a complicated story about how they know this to be so, stories as twisted as the Thames itself.First and foremost, Once Upon a River is a tribute to the art of storytelling It is beautifully told, and Diane Setterfield weaves together folklore, magic, myth, and good old tall tales as she unfolds this mystery But beyond the questions that arise about the little girl, this book tells other stories as well, revealing long held family secrets, regrets, recriminations, and suspicions.This is a dense book with a lot of characters It took me a little while to get everyone straight in my head, because there are a few narratives unfolding at once While I usually read really fast, the pacing of this book was a little slower, so I couldn t rush through it, and while I felt like it plodded a little bit from time to time, in the end, the pacing worked If you rush through the story, you ll miss some of the richness of the plot.Setterfield knows how to set a mood, how to create fascinating characters, and how to tease out just enough suspense to keep you always wanting Once Upon a River is a special story, and I could totally see it as a television movie or miniseries, because so often the book came to life in my mind s eye.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria flag 112 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Nov 12, 2018 TUDOR QUEEN rated it it was amazing 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5.Thank you to the publisher Atria Books for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.This is a very special and unique book that is one part folk tale, one part mystery and brewed with a touch of the supernatural It takes place in England long ago astride the Thames River, which looms large in this story.The Swan is a family run pub where the preoccupation is telling a really good story The best stories take on a life of their own and are repeated and spread amon 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5.Thank you to the publisher Atria Books for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.This is a very special and unique book that is one part folk tale, one part mystery and brewed with a touch of the supernatural It takes place in England long ago astride the Thames River, which looms large in this story.The Swan is a family run pub where the preoccupation is telling a really good story The best stories take on a life of their own and are repeated and spread among the townspeople On one fateful night during the winter s solstice something breathtaking and miraculous occurred at The Swan A very large man roared as he stumbled into the door, face ravaged with bloody injuries and holding what appeared to be a large puppet of a young girl Except, it wasn t a puppet It was a girl of about four, wet from the riverand dead Then something magical happens Who is she Why doesn t she speak And how can it be that three different families honestly believe this child is their own This was enough information alone for me to be lured into the tentacles of this book I ve read another fine book from this author, Bellman Black , so already knew of Diane Setterfield s exquisite writing prowess, her brilliance in serving up a delicate supernatural flavor My expectations were set and Ms Setterfield met them This is an epic and rich story that will keep you guessing until the end, fraught with emotion, compelling and likeable characters, and an Edgar Allen Poe like feel I won t go into too much detail as this is a book to be savored on your own flag 115 likesLike see review View all 43 comments Oct 03, 2018 Felicia rated it it was ok This is the most long winded book I think I ve ever read It s been a long time since a book has given me feelings of dread every time I picked it up.Although I ve never read a book by this author, I was nonetheless excited to dive into this one based on the rave reviews for not only this book but for Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale Not every author and or book is for everybody and this one was certainly not my glass of chocolate milk While the prose is without a doubt prolific, the story cr This is the most long winded book I think I ve ever read It s been a long time since a book has given me feelings of dread every time I picked it up.Although I ve never read a book by this author, I was nonetheless excited to dive into this one based on the rave reviews for not only this book but for Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale Not every author and or book is for everybody and this one was certainly not my glass of chocolate milk While the prose is without a doubt prolific, the story crawled at an excruciating pace with pages and pages of descriptive text Some have commented that the prolonged details are necessary in the telling of the story, I humbly disagree There are a ton of characters in this story and while they are all fleshed out to the nth degree, I didn t care about or relate to any of them.There is a lot of magic, as well religious undertones in this story, both of which turned me off immediately as I tend to steer clear of those subjects I realize that I am in the tiniest of minority of people that feel this book fell way short of expectations while most every other reviewer fell in love with this book I do not discourage readers from picking this one up for that reason alone.2 Stars for the writing I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review flag 102 likesLike see review View all 58 comments Kayla Webster You re not alone I couldn t get into this title While the writing was lyrical at times, the book didn t strike the right balance between description You re not alone I couldn t get into this title While the writing was lyrical at times, the book didn t strike the right balance between description and plot development at least for me I was frustrated with the overly saturated descriptions and the plot s glacial pace Check out Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens it s a perfect marriage of beautiful writing and a compelling plot Jan 30, 2019 07 53AM Lori I am with you I loved The Thirteenth Tale but this book was long and tedious and I abandoned it halfway through something I rarely do Jan 31, 2019 01 08AM Jan 08, 2019 Norma Traveling Sister rated it liked it Shelves netgalley edelweiss approved, traveling sister reads 3.5 stars Charming, atmospheric lyrically written This was an extremely hard review for me to write because my thoughts are so conflicted with how I actually feel upon finishing this book I thought the storytelling and the writing was absolutely fantastic but I was never able to fully immerse myself in this tale though At times I was finding myself a little bit bored with my mind wandering often and at other times I was excited and in awe of what I was reading ONCE UPON A RIVER by DIA 3.5 stars Charming, atmospheric lyrically written This was an extremely hard review for me to write because my thoughts are so conflicted with how I actually feel upon finishing this book I thought the storytelling and the writing was absolutely fantastic but I was never able to fully immerse myself in this tale though At times I was finding myself a little bit bored with my mind wandering often and at other times I was excited and in awe of what I was reading ONCE UPON A RIVER by DIANE SETTERFIELD is a magical and mysterious tale that takes you on a slow moving and meandering journey that reminded me so much of a gothic fairy tale Immediately upon starting this book there is this strong sense of folklore which I absolutely loved and found so appealing Although.I was never really able to fully stay within the flow of this novel though which was very frustrating for me I do not by any means fault the author for my inability to stay fully focused on this tale though because I really think that I just don t do well with a slow burn There was so much that was so appealing and unique about this book that I should have absolutely loved.This was definitely an enjoyable and entertaining read for me and it is one that I knew that I had to read I am just a little disappointed that I didn t LOVE this one as I absolutely loved The Thirteenth Tale I think if I didn t have so many books on my plate right now and I was able to just relax and savor this story I probably would have loved it This was a Traveling Friends Read Norma s Stats Cover Eye catching, intriguing, whimsical, beautiful and a lovely representation to storyline Title An absolutely fabulous title that is extremely appealing and a wonderfully fitting representation to storyline and a homage to storytelling Writing Prose Beautiful, elegant, lyrical, vividly descriptive, whimsical, well written and fluid Plot Interesting, enchanting, suspenseful, folklore, intriguing, leisurely paced, and entertaining.Ending Satisfying although I wish that I was able to slow down my thoughts while I was reading this book.Overall This lover of magical folklore would absolutely recommend this book Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria Emily Bestler Books and Diane Setterfield for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this novel.Review can also be found on our blog flag 98 likesLike see review View all 31 comments Dec 09, 2018 Kaceey Traveling Sister rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, buddy read 3.5 A captivating story that will take you on a journey.A stranger walked into the local inn late one night, soaked, still dripping from the cold river In his arms he s cradling a child, motionless Everyone rushes in to assist The stranger is close to death and the child, already gone The owner of the inn sends for the village nurse She tends to the unconscious man and only then confirms the girl s death But something doesn t feel right to her Suddenly her trained intuition is correct as 3.5 A captivating story that will take you on a journey.A stranger walked into the local inn late one night, soaked, still dripping from the cold river In his arms he s cradling a child, motionless Everyone rushes in to assist The stranger is close to death and the child, already gone The owner of the inn sends for the village nurse She tends to the unconscious man and only then confirms the girl s death But something doesn t feel right to her Suddenly her trained intuition is correct as the child begins to stir.Everyone in the village comes forth, almost like a pilgrimage, to witness this possible miracle And to claim the youngster as theirs So who is this mysterious child And how did she ever end up in the river, only to be rescued by a stranger Diane Setterfield writes a beautiful story filled with magic and mystery Though at times it was a bit too far out of my comfort zone, I hope you enjoy it and allow yourself to be taken down that river.A buddy read with Susanne Thank you to NetGalley, Atria and Diane Setterfield for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review flag 94 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Dec 04, 2018 Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018, netgalley Everyone has a story, and the regulars at the ancient The Swan inn on the Thames are no exception They drink, swap tales, jest, and repeat But, one night, a haggard man collapses on the threshold, the corpse of a small girl in his arms.Only, she wakes up.The questions and, with them, the stories swirl Who is she How did she get there Why do three sets of people separately feel they know her And do the answers come down to science or magic or something else entirely Much of the success of t Everyone has a story, and the regulars at the ancient The Swan inn on the Thames are no exception They drink, swap tales, jest, and repeat But, one night, a haggard man collapses on the threshold, the corpse of a small girl in his arms.Only, she wakes up.The questions and, with them, the stories swirl Who is she How did she get there Why do three sets of people separately feel they know her And do the answers come down to science or magic or something else entirely Much of the success of this novel stems from the use of a large cast of characters The reader s focus, like the rushing water in the ever present river, is never in one place for too long Helena and Anthony Vaughan hope the girl is their daughter, kidnapped two years prior Robert Armstrong, a Black farmer, assumes the girl is his absent son s daughter Lily White, surely in her forties, claims the girl as her sister Through it all, Nurse Rita Sunday and photographer Henry Daunt, juggle between the factions, investigating and aiding, while their own stories complicate Each section contains riveting, high stakes, and sometimes even playful wordcraft and plot play at its finest.At the novel s core is the conundrum of the child, and this alone would be enough for a healthy book However, author Diane Setterfield s prose twists and turns, but always moves with the current The multitude of plotlines are never overwhelming, and the result is a fully realized world that s easy to dip into She guides readers across scenes like an expert ferryman, a twinkle in her writing She knows how both the story and the trip will end but understands it s really the journey that s important Just when you feel you know where you re going Ah, look Another turn up ahead.Special mention must be given to the folklore, myths, and magic which are abundant The novel takes place on the cusp of change, right at the dawn of Darwinism Rita opts for scientific reasoning in the face of mysticism and folktales These two worlds are most interesting when complicated by each other In many ways, assuming this were all true and, really, aren t all stories based in some truth , this places the events of Once Upon a River as perhaps the first of tales somewhere between fairytale and science story At the beginning, readers are introduced to the inn regulars who constant opine on the art of the story Diane Setterfield deftly suggests everyone has a story, and we should all be thankful she shares hers.Note I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.Review also posted at flag 85 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Nov 15, 2018 Marialyce rated it it was amazing Shelves net galley, top ten books of 2018 A young girl is found, brought to an old local tavern by a man who is both distraught and in need of help The child appears dead and the man is in such bad shape he can t tell the people what has occurred, where he found this child, or how he managed to pull her from the ice cold water of the Thames But then the child breathes after life was thought to have left her, and the story is set in motion for a tale with includes the magical, the mystical, folktales of yore, and a journey that takes t A young girl is found, brought to an old local tavern by a man who is both distraught and in need of help The child appears dead and the man is in such bad shape he can t tell the people what has occurred, where he found this child, or how he managed to pull her from the ice cold water of the Thames But then the child breathes after life was thought to have left her, and the story is set in motion for a tale with includes the magical, the mystical, folktales of yore, and a journey that takes the reader onto a path of intrigue, suspense, romance, and magic.Another child has gone missing these past two years and her parents have lived a life full of agony at their loss Could this child be their Amalia Another family with an errant older son feels that this child could be his daughter, Alice, their granddaughter Then there is Rita, a nurse, who doctors both the child and the village Is this child the daughter of her heart What about the man, the photographer, who pulled the child from the water What does he feel and see in this young girl Still there is another woman who, although she is in her forties claims, this four year old is her lost sister How can that be Then there is the child She seems ethereal, never speaking, seeming to be birthed from folktales of long ago, a child of the water in which she was found She is the child they all want and yet will she ever belong to any of them I absolutely loved this atmospheric tale of love, loss and what happens in the in between Having read and loved Diane Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale, I was ever so anxious to read this one I was not disappointed as Ms Setterfield wove a tale that was magical, atmospheric, and otherworldly It managed to entrance me and pull me into its mystical yet eerie presence I definitely recommend this story if you love books that build upon the spiritualistic and the imaginary nature of all tales handed down through the years.Thank you to Diane Setterfield who kept me entranced, Atria, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this mesmerizing story.My reviews can also be seen here flag 82 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Dec 04, 2018 Phrynne rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 5000 books This was such a pleasure to read I loved the atmosphere the author created with rivers, rain and floods, old waterside inns, folk tales and unexplained mysteries All just wonderful It is a book to read slowly and carefully because there are a lot of characters to keep track of and the author constantly drifts off into side stories which are all equally interesting and deserve constant attention The story winds as much as the river it describes The central tale is the mystery of the drowned c This was such a pleasure to read I loved the atmosphere the author created with rivers, rain and floods, old waterside inns, folk tales and unexplained mysteries All just wonderful It is a book to read slowly and carefully because there are a lot of characters to keep track of and the author constantly drifts off into side stories which are all equally interesting and deserve constant attention The story winds as much as the river it describes The central tale is the mystery of the drowned child who is recovered from the river and whether she is Ann, Amelia or Alice, but so much goes on beside.Diane Setterfield writes beautifully and she creates the perfect historical feel to the characters and their way of life There is magic in it too which fits in well I loved the idea of Quietly, the boatman who rescues people from the river and helps them home unless it is their time when he will see them over to the other side A book I will remember and easily worth five stars flag 77 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Nov 19, 2018 JanB added it Shelves netgalley, dnf DNF Too much magical realism and a fable like quality to the writing I do enjoy the genre on occasion but this is not the right time in my life to have the patience for it I have too much going on.Perhaps I will try it again at some point in the future flag 72 likesLike see review View all 45 comments Mar 23, 2018 Calvin rated it it was amazing review of another edition We ve all heard the expression, when discussing old Hollywood films, that they don t make them like they used to Well, Diane Setterfield is here to tell you that they don t write them like they used to either It s been a while since her last novel the somewhat underwhelming Bellman Black , so you d be forgiven if Setterfield wasn t at the forefront of your mind But when Once Upon a River hits the shelves in January 2019, that is very much going to change This is an old fashioned, be We ve all heard the expression, when discussing old Hollywood films, that they don t make them like they used to Well, Diane Setterfield is here to tell you that they don t write them like they used to either It s been a while since her last novel the somewhat underwhelming Bellman Black , so you d be forgiven if Setterfield wasn t at the forefront of your mind But when Once Upon a River hits the shelves in January 2019, that is very much going to change This is an old fashioned, beautifully written and constructed book with so many elements and layers it easily bears repeat reading The main narrative drive of the book is derived from the injured stranger who bursts into an inn on the bank of the Thames one night, with a dead child in his arms When the child comes back to life a few hours later, three distinctive plot threads spin out from there However, there are so many other characters, threads, moments and subplots the book is teeming, nay bursting, with richly detailed characters and minutiae And those are all wonderful to read but when one seemingly throwaway moment returns to deliver an emotional gut punch, then you realise just how masterfully Setterfield has created this world and its inhabitants I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book and rather than devour it in a couple of days, as has been my 2018 wont, I made it last a full month, as I simply didn t want it to end flag 68 likesLike see review View all 12 comments Dec 21, 2018 Emma rated it it was amazing Shelves historical fiction, paranormal This couldn t be less than a 5 star read If you ever wondered what superlative historical fiction, superlative storytelling looked like, then you need not look any further This book follows the ebb and flow and rhythms of the river and the people who live by its sides A wonderful story of the supernatural, of treachery, of wrongs set right, of bereavement, love and loss.I read The Thirteenth Tale a long while ago and wasn t bowled over by it This seems much better, but I am now wondering whe This couldn t be less than a 5 star read If you ever wondered what superlative historical fiction, superlative storytelling looked like, then you need not look any further This book follows the ebb and flow and rhythms of the river and the people who live by its sides A wonderful story of the supernatural, of treachery, of wrongs set right, of bereavement, love and loss.I read The Thirteenth Tale a long while ago and wasn t bowled over by it This seems much better, but I am now wondering whether I need to go back and read it again.Recommended flag 68 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Dec 29, 2018 Carolyn rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018, historical, myths and legends, netgalley, netgalley 2018, mystery A marvelous tale from a masterful storyteller Wonderfully atmospheric, with the mighty Thames the central character, calm and peaceful on a Summer s day but capable of death and destruction when in full flood.The tale begins sometime around the 1850s in an ancient Inn on the banks of the river, where people go to tell and listen to stories One night they are abruptly interrupted when a man staggers in and collapses In his arms, a waxen child, a little girl, who appears to be quite dead but mi A marvelous tale from a masterful storyteller Wonderfully atmospheric, with the mighty Thames the central character, calm and peaceful on a Summer s day but capable of death and destruction when in full flood.The tale begins sometime around the 1850s in an ancient Inn on the banks of the river, where people go to tell and listen to stories One night they are abruptly interrupted when a man staggers in and collapses In his arms, a waxen child, a little girl, who appears to be quite dead but miraculously comes back to life The news travels fast and soon three claimants believe the girl is their missing child So who is she the girl who s mother committed suicide after supposedly drowning her child, or the little sister lost many years ago or the child kidnapped two years ago and now returned Or is she something else altogether, a being from the legends of the river Each of these stories will be explored as the people who were there on that fateful night go about their lives There are some wonderful characters, not least Rita the nurse, who loves children but is too afraid of childbirth to have any herself, Henry Daunt, the photographer with his wonderful houseboat fitted with a darkroom, who wants to photograph and document every facet of the river and its people and gentle Robert Armstrong who loves his family and children and also his pigs There were many minor characters who were also lovingly crafted and memorable With it s lovely writing and gentle storytelling this is a book that draws you in to a time of slower pace and a belief in myths and magic With thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a digital copy to read flag 67 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Angela M Fantastic review, Carolyn Jan 29, 2019 04 43AM C Sharing a lot of friends, I have seen your cute profile jpg for a couple of years If you like reading challenges, peek at the four at my profile Ce Sharing a lot of friends, I have seen your cute profile jpg for a couple of years If you like reading challenges, peek at the four at my profile Celtic Coasts is one of them, Scottish girl We have book material in common, as well as our awesome name Hug Jan 30, 2019 12 37PM Dec 10, 2018 Tadiana Night Owl rated it really liked it Shelves arc, england, fantasy, historical fiction, magical realism, mystery, victorian, regency or victorian fantasy Beautiful storytelling A lost girl, about four years old, turns up at the Swan inn and tavern by the Thames river in 1887 At first thought to be drowned, she revives but is wordless Who does she belong to Several people raise a claim The wastrel oldest son of a black gentleman farmer An abused woman who lost her younger sister many years ago A couple whose two year old daughter was kidnapped two years ago.Like the river that is the fluid, adaptable symbol for this Victorian era story, thi Beautiful storytelling A lost girl, about four years old, turns up at the Swan inn and tavern by the Thames river in 1887 At first thought to be drowned, she revives but is wordless Who does she belong to Several people raise a claim The wastrel oldest son of a black gentleman farmer An abused woman who lost her younger sister many years ago A couple whose two year old daughter was kidnapped two years ago.Like the river that is the fluid, adaptable symbol for this Victorian era story, this tale meanders at first, but gains force as it flows toward its compelling conclusion A diverse cast of unusual characters, some tragedy, a mystery and a little magical realism spice up the plot Full review to come Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy flag 57 likesLike see review Dec 24, 2018 Navidad Th lamour added it Shelves netgalley, brit fic, dnf, magical realism, mini review, read 2018 DNF 15%I had really high hopes for this book going in, because who doesn t love a good adult fairy tale, right But, ultimately, I found that the writing just didn t interest me view spoiler The big happening, upon which the entire novel is based, happens fairly early on in the novel, and it failed to wow me or even approach tickling my imagination hide spoiler There s nothing specific that I would critique about Diane Setterfield s writing it just wasn t for me I think it was a littl DNF 15%I had really high hopes for this book going in, because who doesn t love a good adult fairy tale, right But, ultimately, I found that the writing just didn t interest me view spoiler The big happening, upon which the entire novel is based, happens fairly early on in the novel, and it failed to wow me or even approach tickling my imagination hide spoiler There s nothing specific that I would critique about Diane Setterfield s writing it just wasn t for me I think it was a little too plain for me This novel had the air of sitting at the knee of a 19th century British grandmother s knee as she she knits a scarf and tells the kiddies a story While I m sure many will love that style of writing and storytelling that simple life, folksy feel for me, it could barely keep my attention For that reason, I will not rate this book FOLLOW ME AT The Navi Review Blog Twitter Instagram flag 59 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 25, 2018 Bam rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018 netgalley, historical fiction, 2018 reads I thought this book was so well written with elements of folklore and even a touch of Dickens Setterfield is quite the storyteller On the evening of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, several regulars are gathered in the Swan on the Thames in Radcot where stories reign supreme Suddenly the door opens, letting in a cold draft, and every eye turns to see who d be coming in so late A tall, strong man with a monstrous, bloody face stands there and in his arms appears to be a lim I thought this book was so well written with elements of folklore and even a touch of Dickens Setterfield is quite the storyteller On the evening of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, several regulars are gathered in the Swan on the Thames in Radcot where stories reign supreme Suddenly the door opens, letting in a cold draft, and every eye turns to see who d be coming in so late A tall, strong man with a monstrous, bloody face stands there and in his arms appears to be a limp waxen puppet As the man begins to bellow and sway, the patrons spring to life and grab hold of his burden before he slumps to the floor in a dead faint To their shock, they discover his burden is not a doll at all but the lifeless body of a 4 year old girl Rita, the local nurse, is summoned and her tests also prove the girl is dead so the poor little thing is laid out in an outer building while Rita sees to the man s horrifying wounds But later, when Rita checks the girl again she detects a slight pulse She lives Is it possible she had not been dead at all Or has she somehow miraculously come back to life There are three local people families who want to claim the child as their own How can her identity be proven for sure When the wounded man recovers enough to speak, he can only say he found her lifeless body in the river As one would surmise, the river Thames plays a major role in the story with all the folktales the people tell, such as about the ferryman named Quietly who is said to rescue the unwary who fall in or, if it s their time, carries the unfortunate to the other side The characters just spring right off these pages, with a mixture of good, evil and possibly insane I enjoyed how the various stories spin around each other and tie together nicely in a satisfying way at the end The story is both mystifying and entertaining I received an arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review I wish to express my gratitude for the opportunity flag 60 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Oct 24, 2018 Elizabeth of Silvers Reviews rated it really liked it 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 happenede 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 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 happenede 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 Andwe can t forget the character, the Thames River 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 about the characters 4 5This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review flag 53 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Jan 08, 2019 Emer rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, 4stars, reviewed, challenge atoz2019, adult general fiction, magical realism, read2019, historical fiction NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK IRL Once Upon a River is a wonderfully languid piece of storytelling from Diane Setterfield, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Tale Setterfield again proves that she is a master crafter of storytelling and completely envelops her reader in her otherworldly version of a group of disparate characters living by the Thames river sometime during the 1800s The story revolves around The Swan at Radcot and the events of one winter solstice night when a young girl pulled NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK IRL Once Upon a River is a wonderfully languid piece of storytelling from Diane Setterfield, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Tale Setterfield again proves that she is a master crafter of storytelling and completely envelops her reader in her otherworldly version of a group of disparate characters living by the Thames river sometime during the 1800s The story revolves around The Swan at Radcot and the events of one winter solstice night when a young girl pulled from the river appears to be dead and then suddenly isn t Establishing her true identity is the main driving point of the story but this is one of those books that is about the journey than the destination It s a book filled with strange and unusual characters, and how their individual storylines all weave together to create this magical storyline is utterly breathtaking The book is wonderfully atmospheric and I found myself being completely lost in the stories of the characters and was never once bored nor could I predict the ending I was 100% captivated and thoroughly enchanted Once Upon a River is definitely the perfect read for these long dark nights and is a story to be truly savoured rather than speedily raced through Highly recommended Four and a half stars An e copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Doubleday Random House UK Transworld Publishers, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review flag 52 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Aug 27, 2018 Tadiana Night Owl rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves arc New book from the author of The Thirteenth Tale The publicist offered me an ARC, and I m excited for this one, just from knowing it s from the same author flag 46 likesLike see review View all 9 comments Dec 10, 2018 Sepani rated it really liked it Shelves stand alone, read within the published year, reviews on books So beautifully written.The story captivated me from the beginning because of the authors amazing writing skills The book was flowing in a slow phase with a detailed account on each characters background This tale is a mix of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery and magic which was coordinated in a successful manner flag 45 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Aug 26, 2018 Ariel rated it it was amazing Diane Setterfield has long been one of my favorite authors and her new novel does not disappoint ONCE UPON A RIVER was everything I hoped it would be Magical and mysterious and full of mayhem Beautifully written it seemed like I underlined every other sentence and emotionally resonant I cried several times It is the story of three missing girls and three desperate families, set against the Thames, and just as meandering and wondrous as the river itself One of its main characters Robert Diane Setterfield has long been one of my favorite authors and her new novel does not disappoint ONCE UPON A RIVER was everything I hoped it would be Magical and mysterious and full of mayhem Beautifully written it seemed like I underlined every other sentence and emotionally resonant I cried several times It is the story of three missing girls and three desperate families, set against the Thames, and just as meandering and wondrous as the river itself One of its main characters Robert Armstrong has become one of my top three fictional men of all time Once again Diane Setterfield has delivered a true reading experience Simply put, it is a joy to read flag 45 likesLike see review View all 5 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity All the Books Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield 1 4 Feb 01, 2019 09 38AM Into the Forest Once Upon a River spoilers allowed 3 27 Jan 23, 2019 07 13PM Into the Forest Once Upon a River spoiler free 2 20 Jan 20, 2019 01 06PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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    • ☆ Once Upon a River || ☆ PDF Read by ☆ Diane Setterfield
      ISBN
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      391 Diane Setterfield
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ Once Upon a River || ☆ PDF Read by ☆ Diane Setterfield
      Posted by:Diane Setterfield
      Published :2018-011-15T17:30:26+00:00

    About "Diane Setterfield"

      • Diane Setterfield

        a mistress of the craft of storytelling The GuardianDiane Setterfield is a British author Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale 2006 was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold than three million copies It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being a love letter to reading as for its mystery and style Her a mistress of the craft of storytelling The GuardianDiane Setterfield is a British author Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale 2006 was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold than three million copies It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being a love letter to reading as for its mystery and style Her second novel, Bellman Black 2013 is a genre defying tale of rooks and Victorian retail January 2019 sees the publication of her new title, Once Upon a River, which has been called bewitching and enchanting Born in Englefield, Berkshire in 1964, Diane spent most of her childhood in the nearby village of Theale After schooldays at Theale Green, Diane studied French Literature at the University of Bristol Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in Andr Gide s early fiction She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale sup rieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK She left academia in the late 1990s to pursue writing.The Thirteenth Tale was acquired by Heyday Films and adapted for television by the award winning playwright and scriptwriter, Christopher Hampton Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, it was filmed in 2013 in North Yorkshire for BBC2 The TV rights to Once Upon a River have even sold to Kudos Broadchurch, Spooks, Grantchester Diane Setterfield has been published in over forty countries.Diane lives in Oxford, in the UK When not writing she reads widely, and when not actually reading she is usually talking or thinking about reading She is, she says, a reader first, a writer second


    113 Comments

    1. Along the borders of this world lie others.There are places you can cross.This is one such place. This is a beautiful story It s a genre crosser something of a historical mystery told like a fairy tale with magical realism Everything straddles the line between reality and the supernatural, and sometimes it steps over into the fantastical, which might be surprising for fans of Setterfield s The Thirteenth Tale I think it works really well, though I should point out that the story is very s [...]


    2. It was solstice night, the longest night of the year And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds Unexpected things can happen Did the solstice have anything to do with the strange events at the swan You will have to judge for yourself As a newcomer to Diane Setterfield s work and hearing what a legend she is in the book community, I was excited and a little bit anxious to see how I would receive her brand of storytelling I w


    3. On a deep, dark night at an inn located on the Thames river, the regulars have gathered to swap stories, drink and unwind from their days The evening is like any other night at the inn, until an injured stranger walked in carrying what they believe to be a doll in his arms and collapses After calling upon the local midwife nurse, they learn that the doll is a young girl A young girl who appears to be dead after drowning in the river yet lives No one recognizes the man or the child Word g On a de [...]


    4. I was attracted to something that I read about this book which describes an inn where people came to tell their stories The thought of that reminded me of Canterbury Tales, read many, many years ago in college about travelers telling their stories There are many stories here to be told and I was drawn in from the beginning by the descriptive writing of the River Thames, the characters I was on the river, at the inn and in the lives of this cast of characters I always hesitate to use the wo I was [...]


    5. The Swann is an ancient Inn, along the Thames where lots of storytelling is done there On a dark night someone was telling a story the door opened and a newcomer came in They were trying to make sense of what they were seeing They thought it might of been a monster from a folk tale Once there senses came togethor, they noticed in his arms was a puppet with a face and limbs and painted hair.The man was unconscious and they put him on a table They thought he was dead Margot, the owner of the The S [...]


    6. Storytelling perfection I have read nothing like Once Upon a River A modern fairy tale Quite a bit of suspense and mystery and wonder and charm Once Upon a River takes place in a historic ancient inn on the River Thames in England This inn is famous for its storytelling and its storytellers, and in fact, when a mysterious stranger with obvious physical injuries incoherently bursts into the inn with a commotion, stories are in the midst of being told The stranger eventually pa Storytelling perfe [...]


    7. 4 Fantastical Stars A Tale of Folklore, Legend, Magic and Mystery Late one night at a pub called the Swan at Radcot on the River Thames, villagers unwind with a pint, as they often do A man comes to the door with the body of a cold, lifeless girl in his arms and promptly passes out He sleeps for days Rita Sunday, the town medic, checks them both over To her astonishment, she soon discovers that the young girl is, in fact, alive People come from near and far to see her, including three f 4 Fantas [...]


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