The River at Night

The River at Night - Erica Ferencik

Give me four friends with different personalities who have been through the best of times and the worst of times together and plop them into the wilderness of Maine, with no connection to the outside world and you’ve got yourself quite an adventure on your hands. It is their yearly vacation, a time to bond yet only one of them is excited to take this trip. The rest of the women would rather be pampered and be lying on their backs with the sun shining in their eyes instead of fending for themselves and worrying about which wild animals they might encounter and toting their belongings on their backs. It’s a brand new whitewater excursion and they will be the first group to try it out. Rustic, secluded and isolated, this sounded to me like the perfect horror film if there ever could be one. Add in one hot tour guide and bam, I am instantly deciding who would be coming out alive in the end. You never know who or what you might encounter in the wilderness and you can’t always predict how an event will turn out in the end yet their tour guide tried to assure them that he had everything under control. The women came prepared with what they believed to be survival gear and they followed their list which was provided to them but it was the basics. I was looking for some hardcore gear and perhaps that was because I watch too many horror films but where was the worst-case scenario supplies: the knives, the switch blades, the hatchets? Come on girls…get with the times, just because it is not on the list doesn’t mean you can’t bring it. I think I would have been over packed for this excursion, bringing more survival gear than necessary. I was disappointed in Pia, for she was the leader in the group who should have known to pack something; she was their protector, their go-to girl.


With some high action moments where they had to think quickly, there were times where I couldn’t put this novel down. Each woman brings with them their own history and it’s like they are gathered around a camp fire, their story emotionally conveyed in pieces throughout the novel. Together, they have also created history. Listening and watching this bond, I see what this bond means to each of these women and how it has shaped them. This whitewater rafting trip becomes quite the adventure both in the water and off in the wilderness. Just a heads up, if your friends invite you to an adventure in the great outdoors, bring something sharp. I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.