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The River at Night
Cover of The River at Night
The River at Night
A "raw, relentless, and heart-poundingly real" (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) thriller set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident.
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 and visceral prose, The River at Night "will leave you gasping, your heart racing, eyes peering over your shoulder to see what follows from behind" (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author). This is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won't soon forget.
A "raw, relentless, and heart-poundingly real" (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) thriller set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident.
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 and visceral prose, The River at Night "will leave you gasping, your heart racing, eyes peering over your shoulder to see what follows from behind" (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author). This is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won't soon forget.
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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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 17, 2016
    The decision of four female friends pushing 40 to spend their vacation white-water rafting in a remote corner of Maine jump-starts this adrenaline rush of a novel from Ferencik (Repeaters). Winifred “Wini” Allen isn’t keen on the idea, but she goes along to be with Pia Zanderlee, who arranged the trip, and two other close friends. Wini also needs to get away—her brother has recently died, her husband has left her, and she despises her job as a graphic designer for a Boston-based food magazine. Pia has hired a hunky 20-year-old Maine college student, Rory Ekhart, to be their guide. The river outing has barely begun when tragedy strikes and the group is left without their raft and most supplies. But battling nature pales when they realize that they aren’t the only people in the area. Set over five days, this adventure tests the women’s friendship while also depicting their resilience. Fans of John Dickey’s Deliverance will enjoy this current take on the wilderness survival tale. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2016
    A gal-pal vacation goes over the falls and into hell."I folded my arms. Felt my friends' eyes burning into me. My God, I thought--how old do you have to be to listen to your gut?" Older than food-magazine art director Wini Allen, apparently, because despite the clanging alarm bells in her head, this tired, sad woman joins her longtime best friends on an extreme whitewater rafting trip in Maine planned by their ringleader, an Amazonian sneaker marketer named Pia Zanderlee. Gathering once a year for a group vacation, the foursome is "bound by invisible golden thread the fifty-one weeks a year we were apart. Tied in a golden bow the week we spend together....Dysfunctional in our own female-friendship way; but our bonds were unbreakable." Their adventure in Maine will be led by a studly college student named Rory who has "shoulder-length dreadlocks" and "eyes the exact green of an asparagus mousse we'd featured in our March issue." This is his fifth time on the largely inaccessible and untraveled river. In fact, the names for its passages--Satan's Staircase, Hungry Mother, The Tooth--were coined by Rory himself. Things get off to a tense start when Pia and Rory noisily hook up the first night, but in the morning there is "peach-colored light behind the mountains" and a thrilling run on the river during which even Wini believes in God. "Looking back, I equate this stage of enjoying the wilderness with the second glass of wine," she muses, falling back on a more familiar frame of reference. "Everything is lighter; you can see the funny side of disaster. But things rarely improve with the third, they get dangerous with the fourth, and you better pray to God someone is around to scoop you off the floor after that." Actually, it's far, far worse than that analogy would imply; at a certain point Ferencik's latest (Repeaters, 2011, etc.) takes a turn for the bloody and deranged. The wilderness adventure part of this book is excellent; the heart-of-darkness horror movie in the third act less so. Still, you won't put it down.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2016

    The past few years have not been easy for Winifred Allen. Her younger brother's death and a divorce have left her emotionally drained. She hopes the annual trip with her three best friends, Pia, Sandra, and Rachel, will be a welcome respite from her problems. Emboldened by Pia's adventurous spirit, Wini, despite her fears, agrees to whitewater rafting in the uncharted wilds of Maine. After a long car trip, the ladies meet their guide and embark on the challenging rapids. When a log capsizes their raft, there are deadly consequences. Struggling to survive, Wini and her friends are faced with terrible choices when they stumble onto a camp and the salvation they expect turns into more danger. VERDICT In the tradition of James Dickey's Deliverance, this exciting survival tale by the author of Repeaters hooks from the first page, but it is the strong character development that really stands out. Wini is a compelling heroine, a flawed woman whose fears and regrets are fleshed out by flashbacks throughout the narrative. The friendships among the four women are well drawn and believable.--Lynnanne Pearson, Skokie P.L., IL

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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