Once Upon A River

by Diane Setterfield.

I love a long meandering story. As long as it’s good. The river metaphor held throughout. Brilliantly crafted. A community of people who frequent The Swan, an Inn in Northern England along the Thames. Its currents are both forces and characters of their own. The telling is more interesting than the plot, which gets wrapped up too neatly and seems contrived at the end. But. At its best, this novel recollects The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, in its rich description of a discreet place with mystical undertones. And Richard Russo’s characters around an isolated central location. Although this does not rise to Catton’s Booker Prize winner, it could have made the longlist. Definitely worth the read.

Never understand the criticism of a book being too long. If it’s a good tale, the more time to spend with it the better.

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