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Reader reviews and comments on Once Upon a River, plus links to write your own review.

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Once Upon a River

by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield X
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2018, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2019, 496 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Dean Muscat
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DDRP

Follow The Song of The River
In 2006, I fell in love with The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfied. This new third book Once Upon River once again has drawn me into a world of such intrigue and mystery involving children and the adults around them. I savored reading the book and felt as though I were sitting inside The Swan with all the characters listening to a riveting story. This book is entrancing from page one all the way to the end.
Power Reviewer
Sandi W.

mastery of detail and readability
4.5 stars

I loved this book. It not only attests to the excellent story telling of the author, but it held me in awe of it's mastery of detail and readability. I felt that the story was enthralling, but the attention to detail and story follow up, along with the touch of magical realism, was wonderful. Setterfield's style and technique is above most.

Wonderful folklore about the Thames River. Mostly set in the Swan Inn, where tales are told. Until that frightful night that an unknown man staggers in with a lifeless girl in his arms.

Splendid, charming story, told in an enchanting way, by an excellent story teller.
Power Reviewer
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Once Upon A River
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 happened....the 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.

And...we can’t forget the character, the Thames River....it 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 more about the characters. 4/5
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