The River at Night

The River at Night

An Oprah.com Page-Turning Novels PickA 2017 Indie Next PickA Bustle Most Anticipated Thriller Novel of 2017An Entertainment Weekly “Must List” Pick 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 unforg...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The River at Night
Author:Erica Ferencik
Rating:
ISBN:1501143190
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages

The River at Night Reviews

  • Laura
    Mar 24, 2016

    I have seen a lot of comparisons to the movie

    , only substituting a female cast in for the male cast. I have never seen the film, so I won’t have anything to say regarding that comparison. I do recommend looking up other reviews if you have strong opinions regarding that movie.

    follows four friends who decide do something different this year for their annual girls’ trip. They are going to the wilderness of Maine for an adventure where they’ll hike, white water raft,

    I have seen a lot of comparisons to the movie

    , only substituting a female cast in for the male cast. I have never seen the film, so I won’t have anything to say regarding that comparison. I do recommend looking up other reviews if you have strong opinions regarding that movie.

    follows four friends who decide do something different this year for their annual girls’ trip. They are going to the wilderness of Maine for an adventure where they’ll hike, white water raft, and unbeknownst to them, fight to survive.

    The women have been friends for fifteen years. Winifred, our narrator, is lonely and vulnerable after the loss of her fifteen year marriage and death of her brother. She is an anxious individual whose idea of a trip is a luxury resort, so is clearly not excited about a getaway in the middle of nowhere. Regardless, she is convinced by her three girlfriends to go. It was Pia’s idea as the group’s leader and ER nurse Rachel and teacher Sandra are in. Each of the ladies has their own baggage opening up the door for some good drama.

    About halfway through is when the real action, high-stakes adventure begins. Before that, it reads more like a women’s fiction novel with a heavier focus on the characters and their relationships. Very character driven. But from this point on, fast-paced action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. A rafting accident leaves the ladies stranded and in need of help. They find themselves becoming hunted prey and must fight for their lives.

    The story is exciting with a great deal of suspense. The setting is excellent with it’s remoteness and vivid descriptions. There are a few surprising twists and even a bit of humor throughout. I ended up really enjoying this story. It made the

    fan in me really happy.

    I won this through goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    Sep 04, 2016

    I LOVE stories like this. Survival, river rafting, wilderness stuff. Give me more!

    This one does read like the female version of

    in some ways, but I still enjoyed the heck out of it.

    Four women have been friends for years, they usually try and meet for a yearly adventure that lead friend Pia comes up with. They never are the trips that most of them had rather take..like lying in a cabana while drinking margarittas. Pia comes across as a force of nature for the other women and they s

    I LOVE stories like this. Survival, river rafting, wilderness stuff. Give me more!

    This one does read like the female version of

    in some ways, but I still enjoyed the heck out of it.

    Four women have been friends for years, they usually try and meet for a yearly adventure that lead friend Pia comes up with. They never are the trips that most of them had rather take..like lying in a cabana while drinking margarittas. Pia comes across as a force of nature for the other women and they seem to never want to let her down even when the trip sounds like a nightmare.

    The story is told by one of the women, Wini. Wini has a solitary life with a boring job and is extremely lonely after her divorce and her brother's death. She needs to go on this trip to prove something to herself.

    Once the women get to the remote location in Maine (Thank the redneck gawds that this one is not set in North Georgia) the woman realize that Pia may have gotten them into a hot mess. It's a very wild river in the middle of complete wilderness. Their guide? A twenty year old hawtie who has a past of drug use. But no fear! He has been down this river around five times already, he is a river god.

    Let's get on that river!

    As you can guess..stuff and thangs happen.

    I liked this sucker. You take several of my favorite themes and mash them together and I'm just drooling. This one is especially decent because the women are all middle aged with all that baggage that we carry around and those girls own it. The only thing that scared me is the fact that if/when one of my friends come up with a similar hair brained idea I'll jump into the boat too..

  • Linda O'Donnell
    Sep 13, 2016

    I received a copy of The River at Night by Erica Ferencik through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Gallery Books and to Erica Ferencik for the opportunity.

    "There's nothing wrong with a little fear. Keeps you sharp."

    But how does one measure and define that fear? Is it the fear of growing old within the clutches of a dull, mundane life? Or would it be the hollow fear that we've never actually left our mark on anything, anything at all, engraved with the essence of who we truly are?

    Four

    I received a copy of The River at Night by Erica Ferencik through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Gallery Books and to Erica Ferencik for the opportunity.

    "There's nothing wrong with a little fear. Keeps you sharp."

    But how does one measure and define that fear? Is it the fear of growing old within the clutches of a dull, mundane life? Or would it be the hollow fear that we've never actually left our mark on anything, anything at all, engraved with the essence of who we truly are?

    Four women, long-time friends in fact, plan a 5-day whitewater rafting adventure in the Allagash wilderness in Maine. So out of character for most of them. So out of the ordinary in mid-life.

    Wini has packed up her art supplies and become a food graphic designer. She's been set aside by her ex-husband, Richard. Pia, a once downhill ski racer, pursues her lost youth in questionable ways. Rachel, an emergency room nurse of many years, has battled the bottle. Sandra, a teacher, suffers from being an emotional hostage at the hands of her husband of 14 years. Time for a change and a challenge. A challenge that no one sees coming.

    Erica Ferencik spreads the petals of relationships between these women. She uses familiar humor and the warmth of deep friendship throughout this story. Ferencik knows how to sidestep from the known into the grasp of the unknown through the reality of frigid rapids and endless forest paths. She places fear into your own hands as readers. How do you release it or does it ever really release you?

    This is a beast of a good read. Forego anything and everything from your usual grab bag of reality. Let the leaves crunch under your feet and allow the uncertainty of the raging waters to take you through this one. And you'll know what lies in "the black well of dreams."

  • Diane S ☔
    Dec 30, 2016

    2.5 My favorite parts of this book was the adventure story, the descriptions of nature. Other than that, there wasn't much that attracted me, the character development was I felt, lacking, plus I didn't like any of these women. Too many calamities and my inner critic was screaming loudly. Seemed to be many parts and pieces of other recognizable novels of this kind, though there were a few surprising twists. But the biggest was, who in their right mind would trust a twenty year old guide to keep

    2.5 My favorite parts of this book was the adventure story, the descriptions of nature. Other than that, there wasn't much that attracted me, the character development was I felt, lacking, plus I didn't like any of these women. Too many calamities and my inner critic was screaming loudly. Seemed to be many parts and pieces of other recognizable novels of this kind, though there were a few surprising twists. But the biggest was, who in their right mind would trust a twenty year old guide to keep them safe on a trip of this sort?

    Anyway if you go into this just for the adventure story and not question any of the happenings you will probably do fine and like this more than I did.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    Jan 07, 2017

    Can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cover is? I was so excited when I received this in the mail; I kept hearing wonderful things about the story and just holding the book in my hands made me feel like I was going to get splashed by moving water. Early on, I saw many reviewers comparing this book to a modern day

    featuring women on a girl’s trip instead of men.

    : I’ve never seen the movie or read the book. I know, I know, it’s a classic, but somehow I ma

    Can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cover is? I was so excited when I received this in the mail; I kept hearing wonderful things about the story and just holding the book in my hands made me feel like I was going to get splashed by moving water. Early on, I saw many reviewers comparing this book to a modern day

    featuring women on a girl’s trip instead of men.

    : I’ve never seen the movie or read the book. I know, I know, it’s a classic, but somehow I managed to stay away from all spoilers and discussion surrounding both books (and movie), so this was a truly special reading experience for me! I was able to go into this one blind, which I highly recommend (and I’m doing that more, so maybe I’m just going to start going into most or all books this way). I did look up spoilers on wikipedia to find out the plot of

    and, while yes there are many similarities, I found this to still be a unique and different enough read to stand on it’s own without the constant comparisons.

    Whew, now that I got that off my chest, let’s move on. The plot moved slowly in the beginning and took careful opportunities to set up our characters and background. Wini, our narrator, is a cautious and mostly anxious individual whom I bonded with immediately. I am

    a nature person (ask Mr. Humphrey), and I could relate on all levels to the many issues she had with going on a trip while not having a back up list of facts surrounding the company they were using for the rafting tour and information on the surrounding area. I loved the depth that the author gave to the remaining girlfriends as well; I found myself also drawn to Sandra but slightly disliking Rachel and Pia. I thought this was an excellent way of writing many different characters as we readers have many different facets of personality and will all relate well with the different characters in the story. The first half of the book is heavily character driven, and if you are a reader who doesn’t appreciate this aspect as much as the rest of us do, then hold on, you’re about to jump on the ride of your life.

    Once we get to the actual action and begin our descent down the river (with landmarks named things like Satan’s ladder-

    ), we take off and hold our breath quite literally until the final page. Each time we think the girls are safe for a few minutes something else exciting (

    ) happens and we have to clench our butt cheeks again. I read the last 66% of this book is one gasping session, and while I won’t give out specifics, we are kept wondering just who will be alive at the end and survive. I love how she ended the book; there is plenty of closure but it is not clean and neat by any means. We find out how the survivors are doing and our narrator develops a special friendship that is carried through the end and helps ease the pain of her own losses prior to the girl’s trip.

    I apologize for how choppy this review is, but I wanted to try and convey the strengths I found in this book without giving away any of the twists and surprises in the plot that make it such a worthy read. I’m really excited to see more reader’s reviews over time and compare notes on their feelings toward the characters and some of the major turn of events throughout the book. (The “Rory Scene” was so disturbing and well written; I’ll be thinking about it for many months and you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to once you’ve read the book.) Highly recommended for fans of exciting thrillers that also contain fleshed out characters; this book had a nice balance of the things I generally look for in an intense read and I think we’ll be hearing

    ’s name for years to come. Well done and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

  • Carol
    Jan 11, 2017
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Oct 07, 2016

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I was going to come on here screaming

    and then I noticed it doesn’t come out until January. Whoops. When it comes out y’all should read it.

    The combo of the title and the first couple lines of

    review had me hooked. It made me (and Shelby too as you can see from her review) think of one movie in particular . . .

    I knew

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I was going to come on here screaming

    and then I noticed it doesn’t come out until January. Whoops. When it comes out y’all should read it.

    The combo of the title and the first couple lines of

    review had me hooked. It made me (and Shelby too as you can see from her review) think of one movie in particular . . .

    I knew I wanted it immediately and was all ready for some stuff like this . . . .

    is about a group of four women who have been friends for 15+ years. They’ve been through everything together – marriage, divorce, kids, miscarriages, new jobs, you name it. Even though they’re all at very different places in their respective lives, they remain close by going on a girls’ trip each year. While the others would prefer to be wasting away in Margaritaville, ringleader Pia is the one who calls the shots. This year those shots have the others dropping nearly a grand on equipment and attempting to ride the rapids (for the first time ever) with some sketch organization that doesn’t even have a website. Have no fear, though, they get hooked up with a super qualified dudebrah who assures them everything will be cooooooooool, man . . . . .

    It doesn’t take long to figure out maybe Pia wasn’t interested in the guide’s river rafting qualifications, but his body which leaves the other ladies in a weird situation and me channeling my inner slut shamer . . . .

    Eventually things get back on track and the group gets to rollin’ on the river. And then?????????

    That’s when things

    get interesting . . . .

    ^^^^^Only not rapey like that one.

    If you’re looking for a story that makes your hinky meter look a little like this . . . .

    This is one for you. I love action-packed thrillers and this one had me on the edge of my seat. Even when

    was happening I still kept thinking

    was going to happen any second. I’m also woman enough to admit there were a few times where I yelled at the book “don’t do that, you stupid bitch(es)!” and then my husband had to remind me other people live in my house and were trying to watch the ALDS game. Party poopers!

  • Melissa
    Dec 09, 2016

    This was a middle-of-the-road read for me or maybe I should say middle-of-the-river; it didn't make the cut to be considered a new favorite, but it wasn’t completely awful either. This would be a B-movie, at best, with a cast of unknown actors that’s released straight to DVD.

    The author relies heavily on the seclusion of the setting, the middle of nowhere Maine, to incite fear and that’s fine in the beginning. It totally worked. There comes a point though were that’s no longer enough. Once the an

    This was a middle-of-the-road read for me or maybe I should say middle-of-the-river; it didn't make the cut to be considered a new favorite, but it wasn’t completely awful either. This would be a B-movie, at best, with a cast of unknown actors that’s released straight to DVD.

    The author relies heavily on the seclusion of the setting, the middle of nowhere Maine, to incite fear and that’s fine in the beginning. It totally worked. There comes a point though were that’s no longer enough. Once the anxiety and anticipation wears off, we’re stuck with river rapids, four oddball middle-aged women and a twenty-something guide that’s a bit of a cliché. Maybe I would have found this story more interesting had the perspective alternated among the four women or heck maybe even included the guide.

    Instead, the story is told entirely through the eyes of one woman, Wini. Much to her despair, her friends all agreed on a white water rafting adventure in the desolate wilderness. It’s the fear of being left out that makes her agree to go along, albeit grudgingly. Pia, Sandra, Rachel and Wini meet up once a year for a girls trip, to escape the boring nuances of life, but I didn’t get the sense they were true friends. It was hard for me to establish a connection with these women when I struggled to even see them connect with one another on a deeper level. Not until the final few pages, at least.

    The scenario was initially exciting, it felt different somehow, but the whole crux and supposed creepiness of the story was a tad blah and quite predictable, for me. Let me reiterate - it wasn’t horrible, but there was nothing spectacular or memorable about this ‘trip of a lifetime’ or this group of women.

  • Elyse
    Dec 31, 2016

    Nature....outdoors....4 friends....white river rafting....

    .....in Allagash wilderness in Maine.

    Here I go again ..... ANOTHER RIVER BOOK in my space. This makes my 3rd recently.

    I need to be careful not to start comparing. However....this is a VERY DIFFERENT type of 'river adventure' than David Vann's new novel, "Bright Air Black". Vann's book - gets the prize for darkness and complexity.

    Both books require life preserve jackets....but "The River Night", has much more 'fluff' with the 'Deliveran

    Nature....outdoors....4 friends....white river rafting....

    .....in Allagash wilderness in Maine.

    Here I go again ..... ANOTHER RIVER BOOK in my space. This makes my 3rd recently.

    I need to be careful not to start comparing. However....this is a VERY DIFFERENT type of 'river adventure' than David Vann's new novel, "Bright Air Black". Vann's book - gets the prize for darkness and complexity.

    Both books require life preserve jackets....but "The River Night", has much more 'fluff' with the 'Deliverance', (sorry, I couldn't help myself...but we don't have hottie Kevin Bacon in this story). Not to worry -- we have another druggy-baddie, instead.

    Pia is the orchestrator chief.....leader-of-the-pack....an athlete....'strong-like-bull' girl having been a successful downhill ski champ --

    but.....

    Wini is the narrator. Wini is the woman who most wasn't interested in this 'type' of trip. She much would have preferred a luxury resort with poolside service.

    She recently survived a divorce- but seems less able to deal with the loss of a brother.

    Wini is lonely - sad - and vulnerable.....she allowed herself to be talked into this vacation: girlfriend pressure!

    Two teachers:

    Sandra -she has an abusive husband back home

    and

    Rachel - just feels the need to get-a-way!

    These women have all been friends for many years....survived many ups and downs....

    marriages, divorce, sickness, death, and personal squabbles....

    but they had never been faced with the type of 'surviving' they meet on the river.

    The first half of the book is mostly about the relationships of these women...their background stories....

    Then.... at some point -- the roller coaster ride on the white river trip takes off full steam. An accident - danger -fear.

    This book is not without flaws --and not all the women were easily likable- but reading about them had me fantasized about a trip with my female friends. Of course I thought about how to improve the adventure. Ha! We wouldn't be frightened!

    These woman were fighting for their lives on the river - making their bickering seemed trite. I didn't know if I wanted to slap them or hug and comfort them.

    The actual 'river' adventures - ( descriptions of the outdoors and remoteness were vivid and lovely). Spooky woods!

    Emotions were flying high with these four friends....while they were being put through the tortures of physical endurance. Easier to read about it than experience it for real!

    I laughed at one thing.....given that for the past two days, I have felt kinda 'female' ....

    like a big crybaby .... either dealing or avoiding my own drama....

    It was GREAT to read how catty these 4 ladies could get. I felt normal. Maybe I don't need to see a psychiatrist after all. Maybe I'm just screwy - - at times- - in ways females are. You can laugh now - if you 'want'!

    I enjoyed this thrilling River Ride!!!.... a little "Lifetime meets Survival".

    Thank You Simon & Schuster for an advance copy!

  • Meredith
    Feb 19, 2017

    My feelings are split on

    . On the one hand, I was bored and didn’t care what happened to the characters. On the other hand, some suspense filled situations sucked me in.

    When four friends take a vacation in rural Maine, they have no idea that the trip will change their lives forever. Against her instincts, Wini agrees to accompany her three friends on an adventurous trip to rural Maine where they plan to go whitewater rafting on a dangerous river. Although Wini hates nature and

    My feelings are split on

    . On the one hand, I was bored and didn’t care what happened to the characters. On the other hand, some suspense filled situations sucked me in.

    When four friends take a vacation in rural Maine, they have no idea that the trip will change their lives forever. Against her instincts, Wini agrees to accompany her three friends on an adventurous trip to rural Maine where they plan to go whitewater rafting on a dangerous river. Although Wini hates nature and has an ominous feeling about the trip, she doesn’t want to be the one left behind, so she agrees to go along.

    The first hundred or so pages move rather slowly as the four women drive from Boston to Maine. I found myself bored during this portion of the book, as I was waiting for the action to begin! However, once they start their adventure, the action picks up.

    While on the river, an accident occurs, leaving the group to fend for themselves in the wild. At this point, the novel takes on the tone of

    , as the four women become hunted prey and must fight for survival. This is where things get interesting!

    There are strong moments in the

    , but something was missing for me. The supporting characters were flat (I couldn’t distinguish between Sandra and Rachel), and I couldn’t get a clear sense of Wini, the narrator. On the other hand, there were some interesting elements when the “hunting” began and I was rather anxious to see how things would play out.

    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.