Once Upon a River (Hardcover)
July 2011 Indie Next List
“Margo Crane is a 20th century Huck Finn, and the tale of her odyssey on the Stark River is a passage into adulthood that is as distinct and memorable as any in recent years. With writing as elemental and powerful as the natural world that Margo encounters on her journey, Campbell asserts her position as one of the major talents in American fiction.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Bonnie Jo Campbell has created an unforgettable heroine in sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, a beauty whose unflinching gaze and uncanny ability with a rifle have not made her life any easier. After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo's childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman traveling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to the decision of what price she is willing to pay for her choices.