Once Upon a River
by Diane Setterfield
A community comes together at The Swan to drink, to visit, but mostly to hear the tavern keeper weave stories that leave them spellbound. One evening, a man near death, enters the tavern carrying with him a dead child; two characters seemingly conjured from the stories told. Who are these two? Where are they from? Most importantly who is the child? Is she the child that had been kidnapped years before? Is she the daughter of a worthless spender, eldest son of the farmer and his wife? Or is she the sister of the pastor’s housekeeper?
Once Upon a River is a beautiful novel filled with characters Dickensian in nature where each character’s story weaves in with the stories of others to create one intricate, mesmerizing novel.
Diane Setterfield never fails to disappoint.
The Water Cure
by Sophie Mackintosh
A sisterhood born out of blood held together for survival; survival against parents, strangers and family. I sympathize for the sisters, they were, after all, products of their environment, an environment of isolation and abuse. Mother and King believe that pain keeps you safe. Emotional pain protects you from a broken heart, mental pain protects you from determining the truth behind the hill in which you live, and physical abuse? Well, physical pain cleanses you from impurities and corruption.
When the outside world suddenly infringes upon your “haven” making you question the only life you’ve ever known, do you fight against it? Or do you let it consume you?
I loved this book. I would think about Lia and Grace even after I closed the pages for the day. I need to talk about this book so I’ve recruited friends to read it so that we can debrief.
Novel: Women Talking
CBC interview with Miriam Toews