Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

The River at Night
by Erica Ferencik

My rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (January 10, 2017)
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Women's Fiction | Suspense
Print Length: 304 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes &Noble
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.

 The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

The River at NightThey have been doing Girls’ Weekends for years. Now middle-aged, not everyone is as daring as they used to be, but this is tradition, even at the cost of an unhappy husband which one of them faces. Pia was the adventurer, the Peter Pan of the group, fit, fighting aging with tooth and claw, she lines up a white water rafting gig that would be far from the wild adventure they thought it would be. Even after thousands of dollars spent to be prepared, there is no way these four women were meant to handle the physical, emotional and psychological events that would turn this crazy trip into a nightmare of epic proportions.

A freak accident leaves Pia, Wini, Sandra and Rachel stranded, alone and without both their guide and their supplies. When they discover firelight in the distance, they will find that they are trapped in the grips of off the grid survivalists who will stop at nothing to keep their lives secret.

THE RIVER AT NIGHT by author Erica Ferencik is a very interesting take on the relationships of friends, survival and discovering what one is really made of, or not. Ms. Ferenick did something I liked, she made her characters NORMAL, they wouldn’t stick out in a crowd, they have no magical abilities and they were definitely ill-prepared to undertake this adventure. Told through the voice of Win, a women who still suffers from the loss of a brother and the death of her marriage, her perspective is often less than positive, until the chips are down and she steps up to the plate with a vengeance.

It was fascinating to see the dynamics of the relationships of these woman. I found myself with strong feelings regarding all of the characters, no matter how little their part. Haven’t you ever experienced people outright asking what you see in a friend? Haven’t you ever thought the same? I found little to like about Pia, she bordered on the clich├ęd cougar grasping for the youth that is long gone. I understood Win’s position, she was REALISTIC, if not a little depressed. Sandra and Rachel were not so developed, but their essence was apparent as they spoke of their recent lives.

Far too many people think they can handle things or believe the worst that can happen never will. This is the story of the nightmare that never should have been and the lives it changed forever. Expect to be uncomfortable as you recognize these women are as "normal" as you and I.

I received an ARC edition from Gallery/Scout in exchange for my honest review.

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