Book review – Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Caidyn's review (1)

Once Upon a River

ARC was provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

1/5 – DNF at 27%

This is going to be a pretty short review, y’all.

The biggest thing is that I was nearly a third into the book and nothing had happened. There was so much exposition and character study, all going on without any kind of movement forward in the story. I think I was only on day two of what happened, but the meandering along got me so turned around. I can’t really tell you the plot besides that a girl was found drowned in a river, then she came back to life.

All of that had just transpired by the time I called it quits.

I definitely can see this appealing to people who like magical realism (which I don’t) and extensive character studies. However, it was getting to the point where I had lost track of every single character and was getting confused about how everything was linked, let alone keep track of the plot.

The book didn’t work for me, which is a shame because the cover is gorgeous and the idea is interesting. It simply didn’t go the way I expected because, for me, there really was no clear path.

So, sadly, a DNF for me.


Talk to me!
What’s your favorite character study and why?

7 thoughts on “Book review – Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

  1. Great review! I’m not opposed to a book with a strong character study element, but they don’t do it for me. I need something to happen, or I get bored. Can see why this was a DNF!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m reading this at the moment… I know what you mean about the plot meandering (like a river…) and keeping track of the characters. I’m nearly halfway through. I like the writing style and the river seems like a character itself – it’s not exactly a page turner, so I’m getting through it slowly. I can understand why you didn’t finish it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: November Wrap-up – BW Reviews

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