Hardcover, 480 pagesPublished December 4th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
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.
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.
**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.**END 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.
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