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  • Published: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., 2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 348 p. : map ; 25 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780393079890
  • 0393079899


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Once upon a river

by Campbell, Bonnie Jo, 1962-

There are currently 3 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Fiction / Campbell, Bonnie Jo

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor, Malletts Adult

Additional Details

Margo Crane, a beautiful and uncanny markswoman, takes to the Stark River after being complicit in the death of her father and embarks on an odyssey in search of her vanished mother.

Community Reviews

Perfect Protaganist

This book offered a story of a realistically dysfunctional familial situation, reminiscent of Winter's Bone. The descriptions of the river and the characters Margo encountered were so easy to imagine. Good story. If you're looking for a story that takes place in Michigan, this one doesn't disappoint.

Rural Noir

A prequel to Campbell's novel, Q Road (which I absolutely loved) - I didn't like this one as much, partially because I knew what was going to happen in the next book, but it was still very good if you like rural noir. Which is now a thing, according to some article I read. I'm not sure how it's different from midwestern Gothic - but it's good.

an important book

More a Michigan Grapes of Wrath than Huck Finn--a thing we need right now. The fact that no Pulitzer was awarded for the novel the year THIS came out is just plain dopey.

Finally, a real female character

If you check this book out because it takes place in Michigan, you may be disappointed. Even if you are very familiar with the Kalamazoo area (which I'm not), the author stipulates that she changes a lot of the geography of the area for the sake of the story. But if you want a well-written, human story, this is a great book. I loved the descriptions and the straight-forward narration. One of the reviews on the back says this is the female character for whom literature has been waiting, and I couldn't agree more. I'm glad authors are starting to write women or teenage girls as strong, independent, thinking beings. My favorite passage in the book is, "Margo kept his words on the surface. She wasn't a wolf girl or a murderer or an heiress. Or a dream. She was a girl who needed some matches and gas for the outboard motor." Throughout the story, she is confronted with men (and women) who have a particular vision of who she is (nymph, whore, water goddess, savior, child), but in the end, she's just a human girl trying to survive in the wild. The author allows no labels to be placed on her character. Some readers might find passages about hunting, trapping and skinning animals hard to read (as I did), but at its heart, this is a survival story, and a beautifully-written one.

really good book

neha is amazing im joking this book is amazing

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