Reviews

  • "A story, no matter how cleverly it is structured, lives or dies on the vividness of its characters. Setterfield, a true storyteller, makes us care about all her players in this beguiling novel."

    The Times
  • "Exploring themes of storytelling, parenthood, science and society on the cusp of change, this is a richly evocative novel."

    Observer
  • "Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale, came out in 2006 to wide acclaim. She made her mark by delivering her own take on the classic romantic mystery novel, infused with the spirit of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and The Woman in White. Once Upon a River continues to demonstrate her mastery of the Gothic genre in a way that will appeal to modern readers...Setterfield knows how to make the words sing. It is worth taking a journey down the Thames with her."

    Independent
  • "Once Upon a River is magical, in every which way...it's the power of her storytelling that allows readers to suspend disbelief, and draws them through each tangled, dazzling chapter...This riverine novel has the mood and feel of a ghost story told late into the night, and will win over readers who enjoy a touch of age-old enchantment."

    Financial Times
  • "Her characters are so vivid, one feels as though one has met them, spent an evening in their company, telling stories around the hearth...Setterfield is a master storyteller herself, giving us all the depth and plot and richness of the great narrative novelists. This is dazzling, alive, all-consumer writing: one reads each page greedily, the beautiful sentences shining like jewels under the pulling current of the tale itself."

    Daily Telegraph
  • "A satisfying, thickly characterised tale that plunges you into an evocatively realised historical setting. You care for its characters."

    Sunday Times
  • "A finely drawn cast and bravura storytellling."

    Mail on Sunday
  • "An absolute feast of a book, which will keep you engrossed as the cold north wind whistles outside."

    Red
  • "A bold, gripping narrative which fuses science, mystery and myth."

    Daily Mail
  • "Brimming with folklore, intrigue and romance, this is a story to savour."

    Woman & Home