Waiting on Wednesday: Once Upon A River

Waiting on Wednesday: Once Upon A River


Once Upon a River

Written by Diane Setterfield

480 pages

Published by Doubleday

Publication date: 17th January 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Replete 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.

Why I can’t wait to read this:

  • Simply the word ‘folklore’ in the summary was enough to get me interested…then the more I read of the summary, the more I want to read it! Dark midwinter’s night, near the Thames, storytelling pub regulars…yes, yes yes!
  • The story centres around a young girl who is fished out of the river, apparently dad, until she mysteriously wakes up/ comes back to life, yet doesn’t seem to know who she is. I am already intrigued by the mystery of who she is.
  • I am one of (it seems!) very few people who have yet to read The Thirteenth Take, by this author, but I have heard so many great things that I am excited to read that adn this new story from the same author.
  • This is set during the 1800s in London, a time period which I would like to find out more about!
  • I like the idea of the river as a central image or theme thoughout the book, particularly as the River Thames still seems to give up secrets daily – have you noticed that it is often on the news about ancient artifacts found in the muddy shores, etc?
  • Bonus – the cover designers and artists have outdone themselves again – simply stunning!

What do you think?

Does this sound like the kind of book you would enjoy?

Will you be reading this or do you have any other anticipated releases you would recommend to me?

Let me know in the comments!

See some other Waiting on Wednesday posts here:  When the Mountains Roared, The Exact Opposite of Okay, To Kill a Kingdom, StarfishThe Gloaming, The Smoke Thieves, The Way You Make Me Feel, The Queens of Innis Lear, Legendary, Nyxia UnleashedBright Ruin, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Empress of All Seasons, Tempests and Slaughter, Grim Lovelies, The Glass of Lead and Gold, Storm Witch, The Way Past Winter, The Gilded Wolves, Fierce Fairytales, Descendant of the Crane. Dragon Pearl, Last of Her Name. The Familars. A Pinch of Magic, A Witch Come True, The Winter of the Witch.

While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of The Hazel Wood, Tangleweed and Brine, Sanctuary, The Pretender or The Gilded King?

Find me on Twitter , Goodreads or Instagram

Thanks for reading!


23 Comments Add yours

  1. nsfordwriter says:

    I’ve requested this on Netgalley, so let’s see…
    Note the similarity of the cover to The Essex Serpent?


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