A story of friendship. A story of survival.
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.
Goodreads has provided a synopsis so detailed, I need not say any more about what happens in this story. So what I will talk about is the intense thrill this book takes you on. This book explores the theme of friendship, in the face of extreme turmoil can friendships survive? Even though this story was told from the viewpoint of Wini, each of the four friends, were well-rounded, well-developed characters and I really enjoyed seeing the group dynamics – eg. the leader, the worrier etc. Early on this book really reminded me of The Lie by C. L. Taylor, I try not to say, ‘if you liked that book, you’ll like this one’, as I think books, especially by different authors, should standalone, but I think that is the case here, as that’s the last book, before this one, that really shined for me in terms of a group of 4 friends go on holiday and disaster strikes.
More so than the story of friendship, I loved the story of survival. It took a while for the ladies to enter the water but once they did, I was hooked! Therefore, I found maybe the first 30% of this story a tad slow, but the pace really picked up after that. And when I say I loved the story of survival, I’m not talking about the “supposed saviors” the friends encounter, I’m talking about the river – nature’s most dangerous phenomenon! This was the real thrill for me, the most intense parts of the story, holding my breath as the friends battled the river, can you ever really win when the river at night is your opponent? When Ferencik detailed the friends fight for survival, I was able to picture these scenes, and this intensified my read tenfold, these were the heart-pounding tense moments.
Once this story gets going, it really is relentless, and I highly recommend it.
*Thank you to the author (Erica Ferencik) and the publisher (Bloomsbury Publishing) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*
This book is available to pre-order from: Amazon UK (release date: 12/01/17)