Diane Setterfield’s first novel, The Thirteenth Tale has to be one of my favorite books, so when I heard she had written another novel I was overjoyed! Although Once Upon a River is very different from Setterfield’s first novel, it was still very good and quite enjoyable…only in a different way.
The main character in the story is the Thames River which is a very windy river with villages on either side. The other characters are the residence of some of the villages and how a river can somehow bring out the best (and worst) in people.
The story begins with an injured man and a dead young girl collapsing at the doorstep of a local watering hole in one of the small villages adjacent to a riverbank late one night. Hours later the child who had been pronounced dead by the local nurse/doctor suddenly awakens to everyone’s surprise. She is mute and no one knows who she is or where she has come from.
Locals from towns along the river believe her to be, well, who they want her to be. A child who has gone missing. A married couple who’s daughter was kidnapped years prior believe her to be their missing daughter. An older woman believes her to be her young sister who she believes had died.
But this young girl cannot be everyone’s missing person. So who could she possibly be? And how do they decide just whose she really belongs to?
This novel has romance, sadness, many mysteries and is quite suspenseful with a conclusion worth waiting for.
Once Upon a River is a fairytale carpet ride down a magical river and along its special water. I enjoyed the ride very much!
Thank you #NetGalley #Once Upon a River #Atria/Emily Bestler Books. The book will be out in December.