Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield (NetGalley Review)

Once Upon a River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria Books (December 4, 2018)
Description from the publisher:
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.

My TLDR would be that Once Upon a River has lived up to the expectations that Setterfield set with The Thirteenth Tale. The arresting events that set the story in motion, a little girl thought dead that comes to life, completely grabbed me. And the page turning plot, plus magical, atmospheric writing kept me hooked until the satisfying conclusion.
"As is well-known, when the moon hours lengthen, human beings come adrift from the regularity of their mechanical clocks. They nod at noon, dream in waking hours, open their eyes wide to the pitch-black night. It is a time of magic."
Once the story of the girl gets around, at least three parties have a legitimate claim to her: a couple who's daughter was kidnapped years before, a father whose wife drowned herself and possibly their daughter, and a simple-minded girl with a long lost sister. Each of these families is drawn in rich detail, and the threads of how they intersect is masterfully plotted. It becomes increasingly evident that there is more than one mystery contained within the pages. One is left guessing for much of the book as to the girl's true identity, and the family secrets of each character. Setterfield keeps the idea of magic open while quietly laying the groundwork for both an engaging romance and a sinister denouement.
A few times I felt as if the pace lagged a bit in the middle of the book, but overall, I found it a perfect story to snuggle up with and get lost in on a gloomy day. If you are a fan of Kate Morton (intricately plotted and suspenseful), Hannah Kent (richly atmospheric), or Sarah Waters (Gothic and creepy) this novel hits every one of these notes, in addition to nuances of mythology or fairy tales. 
Thank you SO MUCH to the folks at Atria Books and NetGalley for the complimentary digital copy in exchange for my honest review! 


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