BookBrowse Reviews Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Once Upon a River

by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Once Upon a River
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Marnie Colton

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Meet 16-year-old Margo Crane, an unforgettable modern-day Annie Oakley

It's too bad that Oprah's Book Club is now defunct, because Once Upon a River would make an ideal candidate for it. Whether this strikes you as an enticement or a deterrent depends on your enthusiasm for all-American pluck and grit in the face of obstacles thrown in with a dash of sex and a heap of tragedy, all in service to that glow of redemption waiting at the end. A cynic might claim that Campbell has meticulously crossed off each item on the Oprah-approved checklist: Self-reliant heroine navigating adolescence amidst poverty and family dysfunction? Check. Colorful yet familiar characters either imparting back porch wisdom or attempting to squash our heroine's dreams? Check. Hardscrabble rural setting that nonetheless offers glimpses of beauty to those able to weather its harsh vicissitudes? Check. Yet while Once Upon a River does occasionally come close to leaning on clich...

Could One Shot Have Prevented World War I?
When Margo shoots the cigarette out of a man's mouth she is following in the footsteps of her heroine Annie Oakley who, most sources agree, shot the ash off the end of Kaiser Wilhelm II's cigarette while performing in front of Queen Victoria and other European royalty. This act, around 25 years before World War I, led some to later comment that if only Oakley had shot the Kaiser and not his cigarette, she could have prevented World War I. Apparently, after the outbreak of WWI, Oakley sent a letter to the Kaiser requesting a second shot. She did not receive a reply.

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: My Name Is Leon
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.