✨Jaffareadstoo is really excited to host today's Once Upon A River Blog Tour stop✨
14 January 2019
My thanks to the publishers and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book and the invitation to the blog tour
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? 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.
My thoughts about Once Upon A River...
Once upon a River starts on a dark midwinter night at The Swan Inn at Radcot, where within its ancient walls, stories linger and grow with the telling, and for all those who sit around the inn’s tables that night, there’s no story ever told as strange as the one that’s about to happen. An injured stranger and the corpse of a tiny child set the whole story in motion.
In Once upon a River the myths and folklore that so often infuse this author's stories come to life in a richly detailed account of interwoven lives, circumstances which blend well together to form a richly suspenseful story and one that I’m not about to spoil by giving any clues as to what happens. The only point I will make is that the story requires slow and careful reading; it’s a hefty story, filled as it is with lots of fascinating detail, so it’s well worth taking your time to allow the story to evolve as gracefully as the tide on which the book turns.
So often during the reading of Once upon a River, I was reminded of a dimly lit fireside and a huddle of bodies keeping close, keeping warm and sheltering from harm, and of those ancient teller of tales, recounting stories which are passed from one generation to another. Reminiscent of the stark beauty of a Grimm’s fairy tale, the darkness of Dickens, the Gothic imagination of Ann Radcliffe, the story weaves and dances along with the tides of the great river Thames, which ebbs and flows, as much a character in the story as the people who call its river bank home.
There are a few authors I get excited about and, without doubt, Diana Setterfield is one such author. There’s no doubt that she is a talented weaver of tales, creating stories so darkly imaginative that time, place, people and circumstances are instantly recognisable and, at the same time, beautifully evocative of times past.
Once upon a River seems to have been a long time coming, but believe me, it’s been well worth the wait.
Diane Setterfield’s bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale was published in 38 countries, sold more than three million copies, and was made into a television drama scripted by Christopher Hampton, starring Olivia Colman and Vanessa Redgrave. Her second novel was Bellman & Black, and her new novel is Once Upon a River. Born in rural Berkshire, she now lives near Oxford, by the Thames.
Twitter @DianeSetterfie1 #OnceUponARiver #Passthestoryon
@DoubledayUK @TransworldBooks @AlisonBarrow