Once Upon A River: A Novel

Once Upon A River: A Novel

Synopsis

From the instant #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “eerie and fascinating” (USA TODAY) The Thirteenth Tale comes a “swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful” (Madeline Miller, internationally bestselling author of Circe) novel about how we explain the world to ourselves, ourselves to others, and the meaning of our lives in a universe that remains impenetrably mysterious.

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, this is “a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing” (M.L. Stedman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans).

Chapters

  • 001 OnceUponARiver Open
    Duration: 45s
  • 002 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheStoryBegins
    Duration: 31min
  • 003 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheCorpseWithoutAStory
    Duration: 28min
  • 004 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheMiracle
    Duration: 20min
  • 005 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheStoryTravels
    Duration: 43min
  • 006 OnceUponARiver Part1 Tributaries
    Duration: 05min
  • 007 OnceUponARiver Part1 WhatDoYouMakeOfIt
    Duration: 20min
  • 008 OnceUponARiver Part1 MrsVaughanAndTheRiverGoblins
    Duration: 21min
  • 009 OnceUponARiver Part1 AWellPractisedTale
    Duration: 30min
  • 010 OnceUponARiver Part1 LilysNightmare
    Duration: 19min
  • 011 OnceUponARiver Part1 MrArmstrongAtBampton
    Duration: 38min
  • 012 OnceUponARiver Part1 ThreeClaims
    Duration: 25min
  • 013 OnceUponARiver Part1 Daddy
    Duration: 11min
  • 014 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheSleeperWakes
    Duration: 10min
  • 015 OnceUponARiver Part1 ATragicTale
    Duration: 18min
  • 016 OnceUponARiver Part1 TheTaleOfTheFerryman
    Duration: 25min
  • 017 OnceUponARiver Part1 IsItFinished
    Duration: 04min
  • 018 OnceUponARiver Part2 ThingsDontAddUp
    Duration: 24min
  • 019 OnceUponARiver Part2 AMothersEyes
    Duration: 24min
  • 020 OnceUponARiver Part2 WhichFather
    Duration: 36min
  • 021 OnceUponARiver Part2 TheStoryFlourishes
    Duration: 15min
  • 022 OnceUponARiver Part2 Counting
    Duration: 27min
  • 023 OnceUponARiver Part2 LilysVisitor
    Duration: 17min
  • 024 OnceUponARiver Part2 GoneOrMrArmstrongGoesToBampton
    Duration: 40min
  • 025 OnceUponARiver Part2 SomeStoriesAreNotForTelling
    Duration: 19min
  • 026 OnceUponARiver Part2 PhotographingAmelia
    Duration: 37min
  • 027 OnceUponARiver Part2 TheGenieInTheTeapot
    Duration: 12min
  • 028 OnceUponARiver Part3 TheLongestDay
    Duration: 38min
  • 029 OnceUponARiver Part3 PhilosophyAtTheSwan
    Duration: 07min
  • 030 OnceUponARiver Part3 TheShortestNight
    Duration: 26min
  • 031 OnceUponARiver Part3 GreatLakesUnderground
    Duration: 11min
  • 032 OnceUponARiver Part3 TwoStrangeThings
    Duration: 07min
  • 033 OnceUponARiver Part4 WhatHappenedNext
    Duration: 07min
  • 034 OnceUponARiver Part4 Thruppence
    Duration: 09min
  • 035 OnceUponARiver Part4 RetellingTheStory
    Duration: 18min
  • 036 OnceUponARiver Part4 PhotographingAlice
    Duration: 36min
  • 037 OnceUponARiver Part4 TruthLiesAndTheRiver
    Duration: 10min
  • 038 OnceUponARiver Part4 TheDragonsOfCricklade
    Duration: 17min
  • 039 OnceUponARiver Part4 TheWishingWell
    Duration: 11min
  • 040 OnceUponARiver Part4 TheMagicLanternShow
    Duration: 28min
  • 041 OnceUponARiver Part4 OfPigsAndPuppies
    Duration: 05min
  • 042 OnceUponARiver Part4 OfSistersAndPiglets
    Duration: 08min
  • 043 OnceUponARiver Part4 TheOtherSideOfTheRiver
    Duration: 14min
  • 044 OnceUponARiver Part5 TheKnife
    Duration: 10min
  • 045 OnceUponARiver Part5 ItBeginsAndEndsAtTheSwan
    Duration: 11min
  • 046 OnceUponARiver Part5 FathersAndSons
    Duration: 30min
  • 047 OnceUponARiver Part5 LilyAndTheRiver
    Duration: 07min
  • 048 OnceUponARiver Part5 JonathanTellsAStory
    Duration: 11min
  • 049 OnceUponARiver Part5 ATaleOfTwoChildren
    Duration: 16min
  • 050 OnceUponARiver Part5 OnceUponATimeALongTimeAgo
    Duration: 12min
  • 051 OnceUponARiver Part5 HappilyEverAfter
    Duration: 10min
  • 052 OnceUponARiver AuthorsNote
    Duration: 02min
  • 053 OnceUponARiver Credits
    Duration: 49s

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