Once Upon a River: A Novel

Once Upon a River: A Novel

3.9 30
by Bonnie Jo Campbell
     
 

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“A demonstration of outstanding skills on the river of American literature.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its

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Overview

“A demonstration of outstanding skills on the river of American literature.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its originality, this story comes bearing the saw marks of classic American literature, the rough-hewn sister of The Leatherstocking Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Walden.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post

Editorial Reviews

Elle
“With all the fixings of a Johnny Cash song—love, loss, redemption—Campbell captures these Michiganders and their earthy, brutal paradise in tales rich with insight and well worth the trip.”
The New Yorker
“Margo’s struggle to survive proves irresistible, like the tug of the Stark itself.”
Jane Smiley - New York Times Book Review
“Campbell has a ruthless and precise eye for the details of the physical world. . . . An excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393082005
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/04/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
157,436
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Bonnie Jo Campbell teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University. The author of Once Upon a River and American Salvage, she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Once upon a River 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't find this book enjoyable whatsoever. With about 100 pages to go, I started skimming descriptive paragraphs (and focused on dialogue)just to get it over with. If I had borrowed this book from the library, I would have returned it without finishing it. Since I paid for it, I felt obligated (to myself) to finish.
McGuffyAnn More than 1 year ago
It is 1970s Michigan. When her father is killed, 16 year old Margo Crane loads a rowboat with supplies, along with her rifle, and sets off in search of her mother. Margo doesn't consider this dangerous, as the river is her sanctuary, her salvation. She also has her favourite book, the book of her personal inspiration: Annie Oakley. This river journey through Michigan becomes one of self exploration and self discovery. It is a defining journey for Margo. She will meet with many hardscrabble people, and encounter experiences beyond the normal for a 16 year old girl. But Margo is not the normal 16 year old. Once again, Bonnie Jo Campbell has written a unique book, filled with characters and situations that life is really made of. It is intense, even harsh at times. This book will take you on quite a ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absorbed Margo's experience like warm sunshine on a spring day. Expertly told tale of personhood, growth and survival.
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Doesn't nook your socks off or anything, but a fun read. Had some problems accepting some of the plot line on a this isn't super realistic level. But the protagonist is well developed and it was overall entertaining.
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whateverJC More than 1 year ago
Well written but didn't like the story. Main character too blood thirsty and short sighted. Pictured a future with social services taking the baby and Margo becoming a homeless bag lady.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the charactors interesting and realistic. I was once the too quiet, introvert, too. Now I am living in the Kalamazoo area, and I find many people of the types depicted in this good book.
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