Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River

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, su A dark midwinter?s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselve...

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Title:Once Upon a River
Author:Diane Setterfield
Rating:
Genres:Historical
ISBN:Once Upon a River
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:464 pages pages

Once Upon a River Reviews

  • JanB
    Nov 19, 2018
    DNF. Too much magical realism and a fable-like quality to the writing. I do enjoy the genre on occasion but this is not the right time in my life to have the patience for it. I have too much going on. Perhaps I will try it again at some point in the future. ...
  • Marialyce
    Nov 15, 2018
    A young girl is found, brought to an old local tavern by a man who is both distraught and in need of help. The child appears dead and the man is in such bad shape he can't tell the people what has occurred, where he found this child, or how he managed to pull her from the ice cold wate...
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    Oct 24, 2018
    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. T...
  • Calvin
    Mar 23, 2018
    We've all heard the expression, when discussing old Hollywood films, that "they don't make them like they used to". Well, Diane Setterfield is here to tell you that they don't write them like they used to either. It's been a while since her last novel (the somewhat underwhelming Be...
  • Chris
    Dec 04, 2018
    Everyone has a story, and the regulars at the ancient The Swan inn on the Thames are no exception. They drink, swap tales, jest, and repeat. But, one night, a haggard man collapses on the threshold, the corpse of a small girl in his arms. Only, she wakes up. The questions and, wi...
  • Diane S ☔
    Nov 30, 2018
    4+ A wonderful homage to the art of storytelling. I come from a long line of storytellers, summers when my cousins were led on ghost walks by our fathers and uncles as they told ghoststories. We all loved those times. Stories I made up to tell my children when they were young, and then...
  • Susanne Strong
    Dec 02, 2018
    4 Fantastical Stars! A Tale of Folklore, Legend, Magic and Mystery. Late one night at a pub called the Swan at Radcot on the River Thames, villagers unwind with a pint, as they often do. A man comes to the door with the body of a cold, lifeless girl in his arms and promptly p...
  • Emily May
    Oct 05, 2018
    Along the borders of this world lie others. There are places you can cross. This is one such place. This is a beautiful story. It's a genre-crosser: something of a historical mystery told like a fairy tale with magical realism. Everything straddles the line between reality and the...
  • Emer
    Jan 08, 2019
    NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK/IRL 'Once Upon a River' is a wonderfully languid piece of storytelling from Diane Setterfield, the acclaimed author of 'The Thirteenth Tale'. Setterfield again proves that she is a master crafter of storytelling and completely envelops her reader in her other...
  • Angela M
    Dec 06, 2018
    I was attracted to something that I read about this book which describes an inn where people came to tell their stories. The thought of that reminded me of Canterbury Tales, read many, many years ago in college - about travelers telling their stories. There are many stories here to be ...
  • Debra
    Sep 13, 2018
    On a deep, dark night at an inn located on the Thames river, the regulars have gathered to swap stories, drink and unwind from their days. The evening is like any other night at the inn, until an injured stranger walked in carrying what they believe to be a doll in his arms and collaps...
  • Larry H
    Dec 07, 2018
    It was a dark and stormy night... Well, not exactly. But it is a dark night in 1887, the solstice night, the longest night of the year. "As is well-known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks. They nod at noon, drea...
  • Bam
    Nov 25, 2018
    I thought this book was so well written with elements of folklore and even a touch of Dickens. Setterfield is quite the storyteller! On the evening of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, several regulars are gathered in the Swan on the Thames in Radcot where stories...
  • Emma
    Dec 21, 2018
    This couldn?t be less than a 5 star read. If you ever wondered what superlative historical fiction, superlative storytelling looked like, then you need not look any further. This book follows the ebb and flow and rhythms of the river and the people who live by its sides. A wonderful ...
  • Phrynne
    Dec 04, 2018
    This was such a pleasure to read. I loved the atmosphere the author created with rivers, rain and floods, old waterside inns, folk tales and unexplained mysteries. All just wonderful! It is a book to read slowly and carefully because there are a lot of characters to keep track of an...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    Dec 10, 2018
    I've finally gotten around to writing my full review! :) First posted on Fantasy Literature: A lost girl, about four years old, turns up at the ancient Swan inn and tavern by the Thames River in 1887, on the night of the winter solstice. An injured man staggers into the inn, holding...
  • Karen
    Dec 16, 2018
    4.5 I just loved this book and it?s cast of characters! There is an Inn along the river called the Swan, where storytellers gather to drink and spin their magic tales on cold winter nights. One night, in walks a terribly injured man carrying a dead little girl. There are a few p...
  • Felicia
    Oct 03, 2018
    This is the most long winded book I think I've ever read. It's been a long time since a book has given me feelings of dread every time I picked it up. Although I've never read a book by this author, I was nonetheless excited to dive into this one based on the rave reviews for not on...
  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister
    Dec 09, 2018
    3.5* A captivating story that will take you on a journey. A stranger walked into the local inn late one night, soaked, still dripping from the cold river. In his arms he?s cradling a child, motionless. Everyone rushes in to assist. The stranger is close to death and the child, alr...
  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    Dec 04, 2018
    The Swann is an ancient Inn, along the Thames where lots of storytelling is done there. On a dark night someone was telling a story the door opened and a newcomer came in. They were trying to make sense of what they were seeing. They thought it might of been a monster from a folk tale....
  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    Feb 02, 2019
    It?s so beautiful Mel ???? ...
  • Carolyn
    Dec 29, 2018
    A marvelous tale from a masterful storyteller! Wonderfully atmospheric, with the mighty Thames the central character, calm and peaceful on a Summer's day but capable of death and destruction when in full flood. The tale begins sometime around the 1850s in an ancient Inn on the banks...
  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    Nov 12, 2018
    4.5 Stars rounded up to 5. Thank you to the publisher Atria Books for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley. This is a very special and unique book that is one part folk tale, one part mystery and brewed with a touch of the supernatural. It takes place in England long ag...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    Dec 06, 2018
    Storytelling perfection! ? ? ? ? ? I have read nothing like Once Upon a River. A more modern fairy tale? Quite a bit of suspense and mystery?and wonder?and charm? Once Upon a River takes place in a historic ancient inn on the River Thames in England. This inn is ...
  • Paromjit
    Jan 06, 2019
    Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is an ode to rivers and a celebration of the imagination and art of storytelling set in the Victorian era around the local communities living in Oxford next to the Thames. Once upon a time in an ancient inn, The Swan, where storytellers are revere...
  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    Jan 08, 2019
    3.5 stars! Charming, atmospheric & lyrically written! This was an extremely hard review for me to write because my thoughts are so conflicted with how I actually feel upon finishing this book. I thought the storytelling and the writing was absolutely fantastic but I was never a...
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    Nov 18, 2018
    "It was solstice night, the longest night of the year... And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds... Unexpected things can happen. Did the solstice have anything to do with the strange events at the swan? You will have to ...
  • Beata
    Feb 09, 2019
    So many reviews by my GR Friends have praised this wonderful novel that it seems needles to write how beautiful Once Upon a River is ........ I aboslutely loved the way the stories are told and all the magic around them. The characters were all around me as I listened to Juliet Stevens...
  • Navidad Thélamour
    Dec 24, 2018
    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. (view spoiler)[The big happening, upon which the entire novel is based, happens fairly early on in th...
  • Amalia Gavea
    Feb 10, 2019
    ??Around Radcot they grow the watercress, harvest it, crate it up and send it to the towns in barges, but they don?t eat it. It?s bitter, they complain, so bitter it bites you back, and besides, who wants to eat leaves nourished by ghosts??? Diane Setterfield has alrea...