Friday 9 November 2018

Book Review: Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield (Historical/Literary)

Title: Once Upon A River
Author: Diane Setterfield

Publication Date: 16 October 2018
eBook - PDF
Historical/Literary Fiction
ARC via NetGalley

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?

Once Upon a River is a captivating story that held me spellbound from start to finish. Like the river, the plot twists and turns, revealing new secrets around every corner. There is a fairly large cast of characters, but they all come across as well-rounded, memorable figures, so it is never difficult to keep up with what was happening, and I love the way new information gradually came to light, making us continually question what was true. The prose is lyrical and flowing (again, like the river, which is almost a character in its own right in the tale), and I was always desperate to turn the page, to find out what would happen next. It's hard to decide in what genre to place this book, but I think I would call it literary fiction in an historical setting, with a drop of magical realism. If you enjoy entrancing storytelling, this is the book for you. It's one I can highly recommend.

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