Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Review: "Once Upon A River" by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Margo Crane and her dad live in Murrayville, a rural Michigan town. They are related to the Murrays (of Murraysville fame) and despite having jerk cousins and a mom who ran off when she was younger; Margo (technically Margaret Lousie) had a pretty good life. But then her grandfather, the family patriarch dies, and things slowly start to slide. After a terrible event tears the family apart Margo and her dad feel even more isolated. Before long, things snow ball out of control and Margo finds herself alone at 16 with nothing and no one to help her except for a stolen gun and the boat that her grandfather left her. She has amazing skill with a gun and she always feels the most at home on the river, so she thinks she will manage on her own until she can find and meet up with her mom.

This is not how things go.

This book was bleak, all of it. I just felt sad and cold the whole time reading it. From the description of the book it sounded like it was going to be more like an adventure book and while it kind of was it was not in the carefree kind of silly way that I had anticipated.

I'm not saying that it wasn't a well written book, because it was; I just didn't enjoy it at all. (Debbie Downer book review. Yikes!) But read the book description, if you think you might enjoy it you should read it, don't let my experience stop you. So I guess I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

Once Upon a River


  1. I've heard of it but I haven't had the chance to check it out. I don't like depressing books though so I may pass on it. I know it's one of these "to each their own" things b/c it's a well-written book but it's one of those genre preference things. For example: I love graphic war books but believe me, not everyone is a fan!

    1. Yeah I don't have a problem with books that have violence or that are sad or whatever but there was just no light at the end of this tunnel. No really redeeming bits at all.


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