The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

Setting: Rural Maine
Genre: Women's Fiction/Suspense
Publisher: Scout Press
Release Date: January 10, 2017

I love Maine. I love the people, the scenery, and the calm, peaceful feeling I get when I'm there. I expected to love The River at Night given the plot and setting, but it all seemed to go awry.

Four friends - Wini, Pia, Rachel, and Sandra - get together as often as possible to experience something new. Wini, a graphic design artist, isn't thrilled with this year's choice, but she agrees to go along as she needs a break with her friends. The quartet head off to upper Maine's rugged wilderness to spend a few days trying something new - white river rafting.

From the very beginning, it appears that nothing is going to go right. Their guide's vehicle gets stuck on the makeshift road that leads to the starting point. Rory also hides things from them. When their adventure turns into a nightmare, it's up to the women to survive without any gear, their raft, or food.

I expected The River at Night to be a story of four women vs. the brutality of nature and the remote wilderness, but instead it took a turn I didn't see coming and honestly didn't feel was ever really necessary. My issues started with Rory seemingly more interested in hooking up with Pia than being the guide that he was supposed to be. I lost respect and interest in him and Pia after that point. Wini, Rachel, and Sandra were more likable. Then the new situation with new characters came into play, and I felt it was a bit unbelievable. At that point, I really didn't care what happened anymore.

While the dangers they faced could have been anything from severe weather, the river itself, or wild animals, instead they faced a danger that felt forced to me. I wanted to love the book, but instead I found myself tolerating it to see how it ended. It's a shame really because the descriptions were vivid, the setting was fantastic, but the rest fell flat.


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