Home || Search || About us || Blog || Contact us || Other book sites

Name: Once Upon a River

Full title: Once Upon a River: A Novel
Author: Diane Setterfield


Original Rating:

Popularity: 2.8
Genres/categories: Historical fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery

Purchase/research links:
On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son's secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson's housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone's. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.
Similar books:

The Night Tiger
by Yangsze Choo

The Girl in the Glass
by Jeffrey Ford

The Glass of Time
by Michael Cox

The Clockmaker's Daughter
by Kate Morton

by Martin Cruz Smith

The Legacy
by Katherine Webb

God is an Englishman
by R. F. Delderfield

The School of Night
by Louis Bayard

Habits of the House
by Fay Weldon

Mary Toft; or, the rabbit queen
by Dexter Palmer

The Uninvited Guests
by Sadie Jones

A Spectacle of Corruption
by David Liss

Bless This House
by Norah Lofts

The Forgotten Seamstress
by Liz Trenow

The House at Sunset
by Norah Lofts

Bellman & Black
by Diane Setterfield

The Prisoner Of Heaven
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Company of Liars
by Karen Maitland

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
by Rita Leganski

The Earth Hums in B Flat
by Mari Strachan