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A spellbinding, multi-layered mystery set in the 19th Century around the Thames, brimming with folklore, suspense, science and romance, by the bestselling author of The Thirteenth Tale, a 'mistress of the craft of storytelling' (Guardian)

A SPELLBINDING, MULTI-LAYERED MYSTERY SET IN THE 19TH CENTURY AROUND THE THAMES, BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE THIRTEENTH TALE.

"I was completely spellbound by this book. Utterly brilliant!" (Ruth Hogan, bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things)

On 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 and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child.

Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes and breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

And who does the little girl belong to?

An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming 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.

"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." (M L Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans)

Swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful. Give yourself a treat and read it!" (Madeline Miller, Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles and Circe)

Reviews

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,Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles and Circe

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, author of Man Booker shortlisted Harvest

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,bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things

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, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans

Once Upon a River is a delight, just marvellous. I devoured it in gulps.

Jo Baker, bestselling author of Longbourn

Once Upon A River succeeds in doing what you hope every book will do - pull you in from the first page, hold you captive in the middle, then leave you satisfied and thoughtful at the end. I loved it.

Renee Knight, author of bestseller Disclaimer

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780857525659

    February 15, 2019

    Doubleday

    432 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9780857525666

    December 3, 2018

    Doubleday

    432 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781473555815

    January 24, 2019

    Transworld Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

Extract

The Story Begins…

There was once an inn that sat peacefully on the bank of the Thames at Radcot, a long day’s walk from the source. There were a great many inns along the upper reaches of the Thames at the time of this story and you could get drunk in all of them, but beyond the usual ale and cider, each one had some particular pleasure to offer. The Red Lion at Kelmscott was musical: bargemen played their fiddles in the evening and cheesemakers sang plaintively of lost love. Inglesham had the Green Dragon, a tobacco-scented haven of contemplation. If you were a gambling man, the Stag at Eaton Hastings was the place for you, and if you preferred brawling, there was nowhere better than the Plough just outside Buscot. The Swan at Radcot had its own specialism. It was where you went for storytelling.

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