Once Upon A River

Once Upon A River

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Margo Crane, a beautiful and uncanny markswoman, takes to the Stark River after the death of her father and embarks on an odyssey in search of her vanished mother.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2011.
ISBN: 9780393079890
Characteristics: 348 p. :,map ;,25 cm.


From the critics

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May 20, 2019

I love to see Margo's growth over the novel. If you're not paying attention, you'll miss it. I've read this book a couple of times now and love it.

CMLibrary_gjd_0 Jan 03, 2016

This is a good book club selection; beautifully written and lyrical. I found Margo and her later day river travels to be reminiscent of Tom and Huck's discovery adventures.

Mar 05, 2013

A strange and compelling read, I never warmed to Margo or any of the characters, except the dogs, yet I was fascinated and could not stop turning the pages. Beautifully written the words flow very much like the river, lyrical, almost poetic is scope, yet at times both cold and unemotional. With such complex and deep themes, Once Upon A River is a book that I know I will be mulling over for some time and Bonnie Jo Campbell is an author that I will not hesitate to revisit.

Jun 16, 2012

Young girl with a shotgun. What's not to like?

Apr 13, 2012

A compelling story of a teeange girl who is forced to make her own way in the world. Margo is a complex character and the book deals with many issues. Not a light hearted book but very worthy of reading.

Dec 20, 2011

Very richly-told, evocative story.

Like other readers who have commented, I didn't feel a strong connection to Margo, but that didn't make the book any less enjoyable, somehow. I think it's because although I could not relate to how Margo lived and the choices she made, I can see that such a young woman may exist out there somewhere, who makes just these choices.

Dec 15, 2011

At first, I kind of enjoyed the book, but I'm getting really tired of her skinning fish alive (because she thinks they don't feel pain - what?! are you serious?), shooting deer after deer, and dealing with revenge issues. And, honestly, I'm so tired of the whole gun culture this girl lives in. Although she's presented as quiet, but 'smart', she seems almost cartoonishly stupid in many ways, as well as amoral and oddly emotionless. Ultimately, I'm bored with how she goes from man to man, gets raped, doesn't seem to respond to the rapes, etc. The idea that she was raped by a beloved uncle, but had to take a year to decide how she 'feels' about it, just seemed ridiculous to me. Meh. I didn't finish the book.

missmarcy Dec 06, 2011


Nov 28, 2011

This book was a haunting beautiful read. A great story about an independent girl falling through life. As she leaps from man to man she begins to slowly understanding who she wants to be. The storyline flows like a river and was a very satisfying read.

Nov 11, 2011

I believe the river was the main character, all others, just players in this story. Beautifully written tale. Campbell has a wonderful gift of using words to paint a picture. I enjoyed this immensely.

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