Once upon a River

by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Once upon a River

Hardcover, 348 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, List Price: $25.95 | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Once upon a River
Bonnie Jo Campbell

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Book Summary

Margo Crane, a beauty 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 in this novel from the National Book Award finalist. 30,000 first printing.

NPR stories about Once upon a River

Best Books Of 2011

Plot Driven: Alan Cheuse's Top 5 Fiction Picks

The Stark River, Bonnie Jo Campbell writes of her invented central Michigan setting in Once Upon a River, "flows around the oxbow at Murrayville the way blood flowed through Margo Crane's heart ..." Whether upstream or downstream, Campbell's full-blooded young heroine wants to make her own way.

Like her idol, sharpshooter Annie Oakley, she has a knack for target shooting, a skill that changes the 16-year-old's life when, after having been raped by her uncle, she shoots him in

Alan Cheuse

Bonnie Jo Campbell is also the author of Women and Other Animals, a collection of short stories about women in rural and small-town Michigan. John Campbell/ hide caption

itoggle caption John Campbell/

Reviews From The NPR Community


Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.