Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

book cover of Once Upon a River

This is a slow-paced, yet beautifully atmospheric and mysterious book. I’ve tagged it as fantasy, but it’s more magical realism, set on the banks of the River Thames in 1887. There is a large cast of characters and while it was confusing to wrap my head around them all at first (taking notes helped), I was soon enough won over by their portrayals. The story is highly character-driven, which I always enjoy. No book can be to everyone’s taste, but if this sounds like it might be up your alley, I highly recommend it.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.