The River at Night charts the journey of four best friends as they venture into the Maine wilderness for their annual trip. Each trying to escape the painful parts of their everyday life, this vacation is a much needed escape to spend time with girlfriends. Wini has her doubts about spending 5 days isolated in the Allagash, but is desperate for a reprieve from the loneliness of her recent divorce and grief over the death of her brother. What starts as an exciting and invigorating hiking and white water rafting trip, soon takes a dark turn and the women are left stranded, separated from the tools they need to survive.
I finished this book in one sitting. Erica Ferencik does a masterful job at creating tension and suspense in a way that almost reads like a movie. I honestly couldn’t go to bed without knowing what happened!
Growing up, I spent many summers white water rafting on the Colorado River with my uncle (a former guide), sometimes hitting up to Class 4 rapids. Ferencik’s description of being on the angry water was so vivid and accurate, I felt myself speeding up as I read those passages as if I was living there in the moment with the women and their guide. She has a magical way of capturing that addicting mix of terror and euphoria, your blind trust that your guide knows what he’s doing. Halfway through, I was asking myself why the heck I hadn’t been more scared of those trips down the river all those years?!
I loved that this was a book centered around older female friendships. Far too often, novels focus on girls who are in their teens or early-20s, so it was refreshing to read about women in their mid-to-late-30s. The love, compassion, and resentment between these four women was completely believable and human. As they are pushed to the ends of their sanity, we witness the types of hurtful things people say in anger, and the (sometimes not-so-) immediate regret felt once that thing is verbalized.
This is a really addictive novel about adventure, survival, and the lengths we'll go for friends when pushed to our limit. Be prepared to sit it out for the long haul, because once you pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down!
You can find The River at Night by Erica Ferencik in stores on January 10, 2017.
*Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sending this ARC in exchange for my honest review*