book cover of Once Upon a River
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Once Upon a River

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
"One of the most pleasurable and satisfying new books I've read in a long time. Setterfield is a master storyteller...swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful." - Madeline Miller, internationally bestselling author of Circe and The Song of Achilles

"A beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing." - M.L. Stedman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans

"This is magical, bewitching storytelling...High prose expressed with rare clarity, story for the unashamed sake of story, a kind of moral dreaminess... well, the list continues to grow." - Jim Crace, National Book Critics Circle winner and author of Being Dead and Harvest

From the instant #1 New York Times bestselling author of the "eerie and fascinating" (USA TODAY) The Thirteenth Tale comes a richly imagined, powerful new novel about the wrenching disappearance of three little girls and the wide-reaching effect it has on their small town.

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son's secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson's housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone's. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"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

"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


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Used availability for Diane Setterfield's Once Upon a River

Hardback Editions

March 2019 : USA Library Binding
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 1-64358-108-2 / 978-1-64358-108-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-85752-565-4 / 978-0-85752-565-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


December 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-385-66332-3 / 978-0-385-66332-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


December 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: Once Upon a River: A Novel
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-7432-9807-1 / 978-0-7432-9807-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

November 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-385-66333-1 / 978-0-385-66333-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


August 2019 : UK Paperback
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Title: Once Upon a River: The Sunday Times bestseller
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 1-78416-363-5 / 978-1-78416-363-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Black Swan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: Once Upon a River: A Novel
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-7432-9808-X / 978-0-7432-9808-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


December 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 0-85752-566-2 / 978-0-85752-566-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

January 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   


January 2019 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon AU   


January 2019 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK   


December 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Once Upon a River: A Novel
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
ISBN: 1-5082-5677-2 / 978-1-5082-5677-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


December 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

December 2018 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Once Upon a River
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


December 2018 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Once Upon a River: A Novel
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Availability: Amazon   


December 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Once Upon a River: The Sunday Times Bestseller
Author(s): Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU