Once Upon a River is an absorbing, atmospheric novel that begs to be read slowly, savored, and not rushed or skimmed. The little girl's arrival sparks an interesting scientific and fantastical discussion on life, death, and the in-between. Setterfield writes the narrative like the tributaries leading to the Thames -- little, seemingly insignificant stories and characters grow and develop into a powerful flood of emotion, drama, and enlightenment by the story's end. Readers who adored Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale, and those who enjoy the gothic historicals like The Miniturist and The Bear and the Nightingale, will find plenty to enjoy and discover in this novel.

CCPL_Laura's rating:
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