It’s doesn’t take long with a new book before you can relax with the knowledge that you’re in safe hands – the manner of narration, simple details expanded to instil curiosity, characters beyond the cliche and the tropes. With Once Upon a River, Diane Setterfield establishes her quality on the first page.
The novel, based in Victorian days and centred around a local’s pub on the Thames, follows the discovery of a young girl – who is she, and where was she from? Several conflicting theories arise, and off goes the plot to investigate each.
There’s a wide array of characters, some solid writing with a strong voice, and enough interest to keep me going – but I did find my initial excitement dull towards the end as the plot threads wrapped up too neatly, and the recurring appearance of Quietly became rather tedious.
Still, I did enjoy it, and would recommend – a solid 4.
Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.
See review on Goodreads.