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The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Bloodroot by Susan Wittig Albert
Chili Cauldron Curse by Lynn Cahoon
Crow by Candace Robinson and Amber R Duell
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Death Gone A-Rye by Winnie Archer
Death of an English Muffin by Victoria Hamilton
Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower
Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont
Hearts by Hilma Wolitzer
House of Cards by Michael Dobbs
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn and Christa Lewis (Narrator)
Montauk by Nicola Harrison
Nightschool: The Weirn Books Collector's Edition, Volume 2 by Svetlana Chmakova
On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young and Dina Pearlman (Narrator)
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker
A Playdate With Death by Ayelet Waldman
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
Sabrina: Something Wicked by Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish (illustrator)
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing
To Know You're Alive by Dakota McFadzean
This is Munich by Miroslav Sasek
Those People by Louise Candlish
Unplugged by Gordon Korman
A Witch's Printing Office, Volume 2 by Mochinchi and Yasuhiro Miyama
Wondercat Kyuu-Chan Volume 1 by Sasami Nitori

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3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Once Upon a River: 05/22/21

Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield opens with a lengthy poetic introduction to the Thames and life along it — not life in London, but further up stream. It then settles on a pub that's at water's edge, where a man and a girl are found nearly drowned. The girl they believe is beyond saving, until she awakens and is declared a miracle.

This opening promised a similar narrational approach to storytelling as Greenglass House by Kate Milford but aimed at an adult audience. More accurately, the novel promised to be a modern (albeit with an historic setting) Canterbury Tales in prose.

Instead of getting a bunch of distinct but intertwined or related stories, the novel unravels into two many similar narratives of missing children and broken families. The gist is the half drowned man and girl brings a number of hopeful family members to see if she is their missing child.

While numerous family reunions could be a satisfying read, this book suffers from pacing issues and having too many characters of similar type and name. To get the most out of this book, if, say, I was reading it for a literature class, I would need to diagram everyone as they are introduced and track their progress. As I was reading for pleasure, I skimmed the majority of the book save for the first hundred pages and the last hundred pages of nearly five hundred page volume.

Two stars

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