My Rating - 3 Stars
The premise for this book looked interesting. Four best friends going on their annual trip together. This time they decide to go on a white river rafting adventure. None of them have ever been rafting before and none of them have any outdoor skills much less survival skills. An accident on the river leaves them stranded without supplies or their raft. This sounded like it could be a great story about four friends without survival skills trying to survive in the remote woods of Maine. Yet it wasn't. It was more of a Deliverance-esque story line. Which would have been fine but it didn't pack the same punch. If you have ever read the book or seen the movie, then you know what a punch it packs. The River at Night has just a few too many similarities to Deliverance (such as four city raised friends, both main characters are graphic artists, first half of the book describes everyone's jobs and lives, remote river trip, crazy people in the woods). The story starts off slow and spends the first half the book with the protagonist telling the reader what a wuss she is. The build up of what's to come just isn't there. I just wasn't on the edge of my seat when the book finally got to some excitement. When the reader realizes the story is going to be another Deliverance type of story then it is disappointing. If you have never read or seen the movie Deliverance, then you might enjoy this book. It's a little tamer and missing some of the acts done to as well as by the four friends that make Deliverance.
I was provided a copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
From the books blurb
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.
About the author
Erica Ferencik is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Boston University. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. Find out more on her website EricaFerencik.com and follow her on Twitter @EricaFerencik.