Once Upon a River (Paperback)Diane Setterfield (author)
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Beguiling and multi-faceted, the latest novel from the author of The Thirteenth Tale brings together a winning cast of characters around the meandering Thames, each drawn into a mystery that reopens old wounds and lays to rest unburied ghosts. There’s much to enjoy in Setterfield’s ability to spin a deeply satisfying and richly told story and Once Upon a River contains just the right balance of the sweet and the bitter, along with a clever and satisfying playfulness with the traditions of storytelling itself. It’s a novel that reminds you why we all tell stories and why they continue to matter.
Our Fiction Book of the Month for September 2019
On 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 and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child. Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes and breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? And who does the little girl belong to?
An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield's bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 544
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 32 mm
'A bold, gripping narrative which fuses science, mystery and myth.' - The Mail
'This riverine novel has a mood and feel of a ghost story told late into the night, and will win over readers who enjoy a touch of old-age entertainment' - The Financial Times
'Perhaps the most profound lesson of this superb book is that nothing is permanent, or predictable.' - The Times
'Once Upon a River is one of the most pleasurable and satisfying new books I've read in a long time. Setterfield is a master storyteller, her language flowing with a dark magic very like the river at the heart of her tale: swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful. Give yourself a treat and read it!' - Madeline Miller, Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles and Circe
'This is magical, bewitching story telling - and so cleverly structured... it possesses all those narrative values I have always cherished... high prose expressed with rare clarity, story for the unashamed sake of story, a kind of moral dreaminess.' - Jim Crace, author of Man Booker shortlisted Harvest
'I was completely spellbound by this book. Numerous strands of the same story are skilfully woven into a magical web from which I, as a reader, had no desire to escape. Setterfield's prose is beautiful, dark and eerily atmospheric, and her rich cast of characters convincingly illustrate the best and worst of humanity. Utterly brilliant!' - Ruth Hogan,bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things
'Diane's masterful storytelling draws you in to a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing. It lures you into its depths and carries you along in its vividly evoked world.' - M.L. Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans
'Once Upon a River is a delight, just marvellous. I devoured it in gulps.' - Jo Baker, bestselling author of Longbourn
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