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Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
  

Once Upon a River

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Isolated rural Michigan in the early 20s, a teenage girl, abandoned some years earlier by her mother, is raped by a relative and flees the farm after the death of her father. She takes to the river in search of her mother. It is fascinating how she is able to survive with very little money. Her backwoodman's skills are impressive and you travel with your heart in your mouth as you fear for her innocence, her safety and her ability to protect herself through all the abuse that is thrown at her. Dramatic, eventful with obvious comparisons to Huckleberry Finn, this is highly recommended, a glorious read.

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Synopsis

Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo's childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman travelling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to deciding what price she is willing to pay for her choices.

Reviews

'With all the fixings of a Johnny Cash song - love, loss, redemption - Campbell captures these Michiganders and their earthy, brutal paradise in a tale rich with insight'
Elle

'An excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom.' - Jane Smiley, The New York Times

'Irresistible... As her odyseey unfolds, through encounters with the men she meets along the way-brawlers, boatmen, drug dealers, trappers-she tries to sort out what it means to have the power to end a human life when you've hardly begun your own.' - The New Yorker

' ... the self-reliant teenage heroine of Once Upon a River made the book a beguiling and addictive read ... reminiscent of Winter Bone's Ree Dolly or The Hunger Games'
Katnis Everdeen

'... fascinating ... I found myself drawn to the pace of Campbell's narrative as well as the haunting descriptions of the Stark River.'
Stylist

'Vivid and mesmerizing...a gripping story'
Entertainment Weekly

'Margo's earthy education and the profound complexities of her timeless dilemmas are exquisitely rendered and mesmerizingly suspenseful. A glorious novel destined to entrance and provoke'
Starred review, Booklist

'Campbell's precise eye for detail makes her descriptions of Margo's travels utterly convincing, showing her readers that the loves of humans are as closely intertwined with the natural world as the emotions of love and hate'
We Love this Book

About the Author

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of three previous books, including 'American Salvage', a National Book Award finalist.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2012

Author

Bonnie Jo Campbell

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Author's Website

www.bonniejocampbell.com/
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Publisher

Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Debuts of the Month
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007443376

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