Review of The River at Night

Posted February 9, 2017 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 7 Comments

Review of The River at Night

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
Genres: Thriller
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on January 10th 2017
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.
Winifred Allen needs a vacation.
Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.
What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.
With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

First Line

Early one morning in late March, Pia forced my hand.

Here is what I thought

The River at Night gets off to a slow start and builds up into a fight for survival.

Winn seems to be afraid of everything, she is not much for doing anything too adventurous, but she needs to do something to forget Richard her ex-husband and take her mind off the death of her brother. So when her friend Pia decides she wants to go white water rafting, even against her better judgment she decides to go.

It takes a while to get to the actual white water rafting part, lets say about half the book. Once you get to it though it’s pretty intense and one wild ride. Then things go bad and there are four women who know nothing about surviving in the woods out there all alone with nothing.

Each woman is a bit different and I never really connected fully with any of them but I was still rooting for them to make it out alive. Pia, seem to be trying to prove she was still young by hooking up with the young guide. Sandra, had finally decided she was going to leave her controlling husband, Rachel was a bit high strung and could get kind of mean, and then Winn was just afraid of everything like I said before, but she stepped up a few times when she had too but she so got on my nerves a lot.

There was one thing that bothered me and that was that there was only one guide on the white water raft with for inexperienced women. He admitted to only going on the rapids about five times so to me he wasn’t really an expert and he was only twenty-two. It just didn’t seem very realistic to me.

Other than that it was a decent read and I did enjoy it once I got to the exciting part.

Recommend if you like

Books that are slow to start and then finish fast, white water rafting, having to survive or die types.

Author Bio

Erica Ferencik is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Boston University. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. Find out more on her website and follow her on Twitter @EricaFerencik.
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7 responses to “Review of The River at Night

  1. I can see a slow start, but halfway through before you get to the meat of the story is a bit much. But I do like reading about groups trying to survive. Might be worth a read for me.

  2. This definitely sounds interesting and I haven’t read many survival type books. The inexperience of the guide seems off too. I can see him being only 22 but most of the guides I’ve dealt with in white water rafting deals are those crazy people who grew up on the rapids and have done all kinds of crazy stuff. Not sure I like that it takes half the book to get the rafting stuff going but if the beginning is entertaining I think I can get past that.

  3. OK, I have to admit. From the way you portrayed them, I don’t think I would connect with any of these women either. Which leads me to believe I might be wishing for them all to drown before the books ends. Then again, may just be the mood I’m in 🙂

  4. It does sound kind of intense and if it wasn’t quite so slow paced I might be all over this. Survival reads can be fun! Sorry to hear it didn’t start out a little quicker but sounds like it was good once it did.

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