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.
Recently divorced, burned out, overworked and unhappily married… descriptors for Win, Pia, Rachel and Sandra, respectively. Four longtime friends travel together yearly. Although all of their trips are a little out of the ordinary, this one is different. Leave it to Pia to seek adventure that takes them to a highly secluded area with a guide that has a questionable past. Factor in their lack of knowledge when it comes to whitewater rafting and what you have is potential chaos.
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik is a fast paced read with interesting characters and a lot of unexpected twists and turns (both in the water and out). The action and suspense are fabulous, but what I found even more fascinating was the focus on friendship. The women in the novel are longtime friends, but the dynamic between them is strained and off at times. Obviously when faced with danger normal behaviors are replaced with the unexpected, but I felt tension in their friendships from the beginning.
The setting of this novel helps to increase the intensity. Picture a remote untouched river that is unknown to many. The risks of rafting this river are extremely high due to the fact that the guide is the only person on the trip who has experienced the rapids, and his experiences with the river are limited. Then add in town folk who are few and far between who resent their travel guide, Rory because he is one of very few with actual access to the river. All of this adds up to an unexpected read that I definitely recommend to readers seeking suspense.