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Once Upon a River cover art

Once Upon a River

By: Diane Setterfield
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Once Upon a River, written by Diane Setterfield and read by Juliet Stevenson.

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?

An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming 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.

©2019 Diane Setterfield (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Once Upon a River

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant. Wonderfully written and narrated.

I loved this book. Truly beautiful writing (overlooking the incessant need to end sentences...and indeed the story itself! with a preposition), with engaging original characters. I loved the narration, in beautifully spoken English with wonderful character voices, almost always proceeding at a riverly pace.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely, lyrical tale and extraordinary narration

After a few attempts, I eventually gave this book the attention it deserves. Setterfield's story and the narration by Juliet Stevenson were wonderful. It's a simple story of love, entwined with the mythology of the Thames River. Beautifully written, and Stevenson confirms once again why she is one of the most talented actors of her generation. I look forward to more Diane Setterfield books, and other narrations by Stevenson.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfect

This is a perfect marriage of story and narrator. Juliet Stevenson uses different tones, inflections and accents to make each character sing. Sublime! The story is full of human tragedy, tinged with magic and mystery. Highly recommended.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I did not want this to end

This was an expertly crafted, delicious read that just had so many delicate layers. the characters were so real and timeless. A superb storyline. possibly one of the most impressive books I have listened to in a long time.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joy
  • 29-08-2019

Great storytelling!

The narrator was brilliant. The story was a facinating tale. I looked forward to listening every day. I will be looking forward to another story by the same author.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to enjoy, but couldn't!

I tried really hard to enjoy this book, but it just never took off. I enjoyed the setting, but the characters and storyline I found just so boring! I could never quite tell if the book was written for adults or children either. The constant introduction of new characters made it hard work trying to remember who each person was and what importance they had to the story. The storyline itself seemed very basic, and did not grab me, leaving me caring what happened. I see most reviews have been positive, but for me it was frustratingly slow and boring.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ej
  • 26-06-2019

A wonderful story a joy to listen to with ease

Absolutely superb narration and absorbing storyline.l loved it. I was sorry it ended. Read it and see fit yourself.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful stuff!

A beautiful and evocative story, well written and read. I loved every minute of it.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliantly written and read

It's one of those wonderfully interlaced reads full of possibility and intrigue, believable scenarios and magic realism. It's a storytellers story, the kind I wish I had been brought up with as a child....or maybe I was and it took me back there. I loved it. A pure and wistful adventure.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hang In there


As with the listeners of the storytellers Your find yourself trying to solve the mystery

A mystery that will keep you guessing

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1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.