Read Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield Online

Once Upon a River

A dark midwinters 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, suspe...

Title : Once Upon a River
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Number of Pages : 464 pages
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Once Upon a River Reviews

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    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 able to fully immerse myself in this tale though. At times I was finding myself a little bit bored with my mind wandering often and at other times I was excited and in awe of what I was reading.


  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    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

  • Emma

    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 story of the supernatural, of treachery, of wrongs set right, of bereavement, love and loss.

    I read The Thirteenth Tale a long while ago and wasn’t bowled over by it. This seems much better, but I am now wondering whe


    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 ago astride the Thames River, which looms large in this story.

    The Swan is a family run pub where the preoccupation is telling a really good story. The best stories take on a life of their own and are repeated and spread amon

  • Karen


    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 possibilities of who she could be.

    Some magical occurrence seems to take place regarding the girl, she’s actually alive, when previously thought dead by the local midwife/nurse.

    This story took me on a journey filled with mag

  • Navidad Thélamour

    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) There's nothing specific that I would critique about Diane Setterfield's writing; it just wasn't for me. I think it was a littl

  • Phrynne

    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 and the author constantly drifts off into side stories which are all equally interesting and deserve constant attention. The story winds as much as the river it describes. The central tale is the mystery of the drowned c

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    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 famous for its storytelling and its storytellers, and in fact, when a mysterious stranger with obvious physical injuries incoherently bursts into the inn with a commotion, stories are in the midst of being told. The stranger eventually pa