Read Once Upon a Day Online

Authors: Lisa Tucker

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary, #United States, #Women's Fiction, #Domestic Life

Once Upon a Day

Glowing praise for Lisa Tucker’s spellbinding novel

Once Upon a Day

“Readable, full of enjoyable characters. . . Tucker raises great questions about the nature of parental and marital responsibility.”

—Denver Post


“Charmingly written . . . a good comfort-food story . . . the kooky, off-kilter characters, with their various eccentricities, feel like a good-days companions.”

—San Francisco Chronicle


“The title of Tucker’s third novel sounds like a Nora Ephron movie, and on the surface the fanciful plot seems to play right along. . . . [But] another narrative strand casts a welcome emotional shadow . . . lifting
Once Upon a Day
out of the realm of romantic comedy and into the darker territory of an Old World fairy tale.”

—The New York Times Book Review


“Readers will find this captivating, fish-out-of-water fairy tale and mystery-suspense-romance difficult to put down.”

—Library Journal


“The gifted Tucker tells a compelling story with uncommon empathy and grace.”



“Ambitious and sprawling.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer


“Tucker is a graceful writer with an ability to create characters whose flaws help make them sympathetic and believably human.”

—The Boston Globe


“Beautifully written . . . intriguing.”

—USA Today


“One of those page-turners full of suspense and romance that is likely to keep the TV off and readers up way past prime time. . . . [
Once Upon a Day
] has its share of ordinary people; the poignant
stories they share in this fairy tale of a book, however, are anything but.”

—Albuquerque Journal


“Fascinating . . . a real page-turner . . . Tucker keeps you guessing, crafting almost a mystery, along with a two-pronged love story that’s hard to immediately file away.”

—St. Louis Post Dispatch


“Tucker has a stylish, authentic way of revealing how it only takes one day for a person to lose hope—or regain it.”



“Readers are drawn into the story, compelled to discover the resolution.”

—Charlotte Observer


“Emotionally suspenseful . . .
Once Upon a Day
is [Lisa Tucker’s] strongest effort to date and it’s a lovely and surprising book.”

—Santa Fe Reporter


“Brilliant storytelling . . .
Once Upon a Day
[raises] profound questions about the limits of love, the power of the past, and the capacity of the human heart to deal with profound tragedy.”

Praise for
The Song Reader

“An engagingly intricate debut. . . . The characters become as real to the reader as they are to [the narrator]. . . . Though brimful of sentiment,
The Song Reader
never spills over into sentimentality.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer
(Editor’s Choice)


“This intoxicating debut may remind [readers] of Shirley Jackson’s
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
and Pat Conroy’s
The Prince of Tides,
but it’s not lost in their shadows.”

—Publishers Weekly
(starred review)


“Tucker turns an engaging premise into a fascinating novel.”

—Denver Post


“A clear winner . . . [Be] among the first to discover a brilliant new literary talent.”

—The Albuquerque Tribune


“Tucker use[s] a winning formula: Give readers a good old-fashioned story . . . that people can’t stop talking about.”

—Philadelphia Weekly


“[An] intriguing and heartwarming tale of family and struggle.”

—The Times Leader


“Tucker’s song-reading device is ingenious. . . . [A] complicated story about the unbreakable bond between two sisters.”

—The Boston Globe


“Tucker has created a convincing musing on the importance of memory . . . [The] reader is left with a . . . satisfying, complex reaction.”

—Santa Fe Reporter

Praise for
Shout Down the Moon

“The situations Tucker describes here in starkly lyrical prose are as chilling as if they were all derived from her own experiences.”



“Tucker’s portrayal is refreshingly real.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer


“[Tucker] excels at setting her young protagonists in the heart of complex, often damaging familial relationships.”

—St. Louis Post Dispatch


“Well-drawn, emotionally nuanced characters. . . . [This] compulsively readable tale deftly moves over the literary landscape, avoiding genre classification; it succeeds as a subtle romance, an incisive character study and compelling women-in-peril noir fiction.”

—Publishers Weekly


“[Tucker’s] straight-from-the-heart narration is instantly gripping.”



The Song Reader

Shout Down the Moon

Washington Square Press

1230 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10020


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2006 by Lisa Tucker

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Atria Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-9277-5

ISBN-10:        0-7434-9277-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-9278-2 (Pbk)

ISBN-10:        0-7434-9278-1 (Pbk)

eISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2318-5


This Washington Square Press trade paperback edition May 2007

WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.





This book is dedicated to Miles Tucker,
my beautiful son, who taught me how to imagine
and gave me back my life.

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Part One: The Charming Coincidence

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Part Two: Naked Heart

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Part Three: Angel Moon

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Part Four: The Master of Dreams

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Part Five: Chapter Sleepers Awake

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four



About the Book

Questions for Discussion

A Conversation with the Author



Dame Fortune once upon a day

To me was bountiful and kind;

But all things change; she changed her mind,

And what she gave she took away.

O Fortune, long I’ve sued to thee;

The gifts thou gavest me restore,

For, trust me, I would ask no more,

Could ‘was’ become an ‘is’ for me.


Don Quixote



Once Upon a Day



The Charming Coincidence



was very happy, and you can’t say that about most people. He hadn’t sought happiness, but he recognized it. This was his gift: to know what he had.

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