Books,  Fiction,  Historical Fiction,  Jessica Bierman

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield Book Review

Goodreads

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield Book Review

The lowdown from Goodreads

Publication Date December 4, 2018

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.

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield Book Review Blog Tour Atria Books

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield Book Review

Once Upon a River is much more than your typical historical fiction story; it is a fantastical tale with magic and folklore.  Normally, I do not enjoy anything on the magical side, but this book was beautifully written and I enjoyed it from the very first page.  The book is a long, slow burn, but somehow every word feels necessary.

Storytelling

The book is set in an undetermined time in the past (it felt like a couple of hundred years ago to me), in a fictional town on the River Thames.  The reader is immediately introduced to the town’s gathering place, where drinking and revelry and, most importantly, stories are told.  The lore that each character believes is what shapes them, and Setterfield deftly uses these beliefs to set the aura of mystery.

Characters

Once Upon a River is a book rife with characters, and at first, I was not sure I was going to be able to keep up.   But Setterfield is a master of her craft, and a few chapters in the reader feels as if they know everyone, and I never looked back.  Again, what each character believes is what defines them, whether is be mystical, religious, or scientific.

THE VERDICT

Diane Setterfield has set a detailed world in her small town on the River Thames.  Once Upon a River may be the most well-written book I have read this year.  She is an absolutely beautiful story writer, and she broke me out of my usual genre and had me reveling in a mystical tale. Not only am I Really Into Once Upon a River, but you will also find me with my nose is her last novel, The Thirteenth Tale, as I will now read anything Ms. Setterfield writes.

Special thanks to Atria Books for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Let’s connect with books!  We have all of our reviews on Goodreads!

Grab your copy of ONCE UPON A RIVER:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Osmegh

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2NLDxDy

Books-a-Million: https://bit.ly/2pVMjFI

iBooks: https://apple.co/2P3BQpX

Indiebound: https://bit.ly/2PCzriX

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2P3QFIV

Google: https://goo.gl/iQtXgG

Nook: https://bit.ly/2CkjJp3

Grab your copy of ONCE UPON A RIVER:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Osmegh

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2NLDxDy

Books-a-Million: https://bit.ly/2pVMjFI

iBooks: https://apple.co/2P3BQpX

Indiebound: https://bit.ly/2PCzriX

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2P3QFIV

Google: https://goo.gl/iQtXgG

Nook: https://bit.ly/2CkjJp3

Not only am I Really Into Once Upon a River, but you will also find me with my nose is her last novel, The Thirteenth Tale, as I will now read anything Ms. Setterfield writes.

Special thanks to Atria Books for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Let’s connect with books!  We have all of our reviews on Goodreads!

You can read more of Jessica’s reviews here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab your copy of ONCE UPON A RIVER:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Osmegh

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2NLDxDy

Books-a-Million: https://bit.ly/2pVMjFI

iBooks: https://apple.co/2P3BQpX

Indiebound: https://bit.ly/2PCzriX

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2P3QFIV

Google: https://goo.gl/iQtXgG

Nook: https://bit.ly/2CkjJp3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DIANE SETTERFIELD

Diane Setterfield | Photo Credit: Susie Barker

Diane Setterfield is a British author. Her debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale (2006) was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold more 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 is Bellman & Black (2013), an unusual genre-defying meditation on workaholism, Victorian mourning ritual and rooks, and her third, Once Upon a River, will be published in early 2019.

Born in rural Berkshire, Diane spent most of her childhood in the village of Theale. After schooldays at Theale Green, Diane studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in André Gide’s early fiction. She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French 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 North Yorkshire and broadcast by BBC2 in 2013.

Diane now lives in Oxford by the Thames. 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.’

 

I am a Texan living in California with my husband Mark, my best pup Ziggy, and our two cats Marilyn and Goldie. I love reading, cooking, binge-watching great tv shows and staying up too late talking to my friends.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Be Friends

Receive our newsletter filled with recs to find your next pop culture obsession. 

Thanks for subscribing!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This