Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “Once Upon A River” by Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield has creatively written an unusual, intriguing, riveting, enthralling, unique, entertaining and thought-provoking novel. The Genres for this Novel are a combination of Folklore, Tall-Tales, Fiction, Magic, Myth and possibly Science.There is also some Romance and Mystery and Suspense. What a variety of genres in one novel!! Diane Setterfield is an amazing storyteller and vividly describes the characters and landscape. The author describes her quirky, strange, characters as complex and complicated. There are many questions, and just as many answers too many things that happen in this story.
There is symbolism, and the most apparent is the Thames River, which seems to stand for life and death in different ways. By an ancient Inn, where people meet and greet one another and tell stories, an injured man comes in holding what appears is the dead body of a doll-like little girl. The people get the Nurse to treat the man. It appears that the man is a photographer. When the nurse checks on the dead girl, she realizes that she is now alive. How can one be dead, and alive? ” To be or not be”? Is it magic or is it science?
The people in the Inn think the little four-year old mute girl is one that was kidnapped. After the word spreads, it is possible that the little girl could belong to one of three families. Each of the families has many secrets. One moment everything seems so real and life-like and the next moment there is a magical or unrealistic view of things.
I would recommend this suspenseful ,magical and thought-provoking story to readers who enjoy these genres. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.