Told from the views of multiple characters, Once Upon a River tells the tale of a drowned girl who miraculously comes back to life and seemingly ordinary people living along the Thames. It’s really a slapping story. It feels like folklore, a story that could be passed on by word of mouth, but it also chooses to sit somewhere between fantasy and magical realism. Much of it revolves around the inn where the drowned girl was brought, the Swan, a place where people come to mingle and tell stories. Once Upon a River is skillfully built on its own stories, and the atmosphere it sets up for itself is enchanting and magnetic. All fans of magical realism, fantasy, folklore, and fables should give it a gander.