Once Upon A River Gives Grownups a Fairytale to be Remembered.

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The cover and title were the first things to draw me in. The pretty snake/river illustration on the cover hinted at magic and folklore, while the title was a clear reference to fairytales. As quaint and sweet as fairytales are for children, when they take on an adult hue, they add new depth and nuance to the theme, reminding adults that fairytales aren’t just for children. From the first page, the writing lured me in with its fairytale atmosphere, vivid and evocative. The writing is, in short, absolutely spellbinding. The plot got done better and better as I read on, as a child mistaken for a doll turns a town upside down as families fight to claim the little lost girl. It wasn’t the kind of novel I was tempted to speed read through, not because it wasn’t unputdownable or because it was dense, but rather, it was more enjoyable in bite-sized chunks to savor the language and experience just that little bit longer. I think readers of The Immortalists would like this one a lot.