Author of The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield’s new title: Once Upon a River, is just as charming. Set in a fictional small town along the river Thames, somewhere in the 1800s, this is a beautiful story of the power of folklore and superstition to create a subjective reality. One night an injured man staggers into the The Swan inn, carrying a dead child who nobody knows. It then appears the child is not dead after all. Stories are whispered around the village, and the townsfolk try to make sense of the incident. The atmosphere is gentle, dreamlike, and the wide cast of characters, with their back-stories, are beautifully portrayed. Setterfield occasionally addresses the reader directly, which makes this feel like you are being told a favourite fairytale. Lovely.