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The River at Night

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  12,806 ratings  ·  2,139 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Gallery/Scout Press
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Kim Do you think the gun wound up in the tree above her? She had it when she caught up with them? She's a wily one! And most (good, nice, decent) people d…moreDo you think the gun wound up in the tree above her? She had it when she caught up with them? She's a wily one! And most (good, nice, decent) people don't know how to tie someone up in a way that they can't get loose.(less)

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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,806 ratings  ·  2,139 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cover is? I was so excited when I received this in the mail; I kept hearing wonderful things about the story and just holding the book in my hands made me feel like I was going to get splashed by moving water. Early on, I saw many reviewers comparing this book to a modern day Deliverance featuring women on a girl’s trip instead of men. Confession: I’ve never seen the movie or read the book. I know, I know, it’s a classic, but somehow I ma ...more
This was a middle-of-the-road read for me or maybe I should say middle-of-the-river; it didn't make the cut to be considered a new favorite, but it wasn’t completely awful either. This would be a B-movie, at best, with a cast of unknown actors that’s released straight to DVD.

The author relies heavily on the seclusion of the setting, the middle of nowhere Maine, to incite fear and that’s fine in the beginning. It totally worked. There comes a point though were that’s no longer enough. Once the an
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, netgalley
I LOVE stories like this. Survival, river rafting, wilderness stuff. Give me more!
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This one does read like the female version of Deliverance in some ways, but I still enjoyed the heck out of it.
Four women have been friends for years, they usually try and meet for a yearly adventure that lead friend Pia comes up with. They never are the trips that most of them had rather lying in a cabana while drinking margarittas. Pia comes across as a force of nature for the other women and the
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The River at Night by Erica Ferencik through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Gallery Books and to Erica Ferencik for the opportunity.

"There's nothing wrong with a little fear. Keeps you sharp."

But how does one measure and define that fear? Is it the fear of growing old within the clutches of a dull, mundane life? Or would it be the hollow fear that we've never actually left our mark on anything, anything at all, engraved with the essence of who we truly are?

Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
My feelings are split on The River at Night. On the one hand, I was bored and didn’t care what happened to the characters. On the other hand, some suspense filled situations sucked me in.

When four friends take a vacation in rural Maine, they have no idea that the trip will change their lives forever. Against her instincts, Wini agrees to accompany her three friends on an adventurous trip to rural Maine where they plan to go whitewater rafting on a dangerous river. Although Wini hates nature and
Elyse  Walters
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nature....outdoors....4 friends....white river rafting.... Allagash wilderness in Maine.

Here I go again ..... ANOTHER RIVER BOOK in my space. This makes my 3rd recently.
I need to be careful not to start comparing. However....this is a VERY DIFFERENT type of 'river adventure' than David Vann's new novel, "Bright Air Black". Vann's book - gets the prize for darkness and complexity.

Both books require life preserve jackets....but "The River Night", has much more 'fluff' with the 'Deliveran
3.5 Stars. GREAT LAST LINE!......but oh I wanted more FEAR FACTOR!

A skeptical Winifred (Win) finally submits and accompanies three of her (young-middle-aged) longtime friends on a much needed weekend trip into the Maine wilderness for a little R&R white water rafting, and as you might suspect run into a bit of trouble beginning with the creepy dudes at the first stop.

(No dueling banjo's here, but there are a few similarities to DELIVERANCE throughout the novel.)

Anyway, as Win narrates, we

Diane S ☔
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 My favorite parts of this book was the adventure story, the descriptions of nature. Other than that, there wasn't much that attracted me, the character development was I felt, lacking, plus I didn't like any of these women. Too many calamities and my inner critic was screaming loudly. Seemed to be many parts and pieces of other recognizable novels of this kind, though there were a few surprising twists. But the biggest was, who in their right mind would trust a twenty year old guide to keep ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
This will not be a long review. I just want to explain why I did not find this book enjoyable. And, it's because I really, really disliked the 4 main female characters in the book. I can take, the whole being stranded in a forest away from people and having to get back to civilization while facing dangerous situations. I love stuff like that. What I can't deal with are stupid characters. I honestly should have stopped reading the book, when I read that they spent 45 min in the car trying to find ...more
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik is a 2017 Gallery/Scout publication.

This book is nothing like I had imagined it would be like. I didn’t have any preset ideas, per se, but was surprised by the direction the story took the further along it went.

I loathe comparisons of any kind to other authors, books, movies, or television premises, but, I have to say, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the movie “Deliverance”, while I was reading this book, and I’m pretty sure other people have probably ma
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Find all of my reviews at:

“Ladies? Your thoughts?”

“Perfect setting for the next Saw movie.”

I was going to come on here screaming WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE READING THIS?!?!?!?! and then I noticed it doesn’t come out until January. Whoops. When it comes out y’all should read it.

The combo of the title and the first couple lines of Shelby’s review had me hooked. It made me (and Shelby too as you can see from her review) think of one movie in particular . . .

Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have seen a lot of comparisons to the movie Deliverance, only substituting a female cast in for the male cast. I have never seen the film, so I won’t have anything to say regarding that comparison. I do recommend looking up other reviews if you have strong opinions regarding that movie.

The River at Night follows four friends who decide do something different this year for their annual girls’ trip. They are going to the wilderness of Maine for an adventure where they’ll hike, white water raft,
Holly  B
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this white river rapid raft ride.....GONE Wrong. Its now about survival! I loved that it was about 4 close middle-aged girlfriends just looking to get away and have an adventure! I thought the book was well written and kept my interest through out. If you like adrenaline while reading, I recommend!
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
A group of close friends get together every year to go on new adventures. This time the four women get wrapped up in a daring river wilderness trip, which only one of them is looking forward to, but that all will go along with to escape the humdrum of normal life. Of course the trip turns into a nightmare mesh of wilderness meeting human depravity.

The River of Night involves four women but is told singularly through the main character, Winnie, a recently divorced and middle-age woman who has a l
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
Go grab your helmet, water shoes, and raft for a literary diversion down a fast-flowing, wild Maine River in Erica Ferencik's The River at Night. While you grab the materials you need for this trip, you'll need to leave reality behind (if you start to question too much, you'll just get frustrated with this trip).

Winifred, Pia, Sandra, and Rachel lead urban and suburban lives. They've been friends for decades, and each year. This year, the adventurous Pia has picked the locale, and the quartet is
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Dangerous, unpredictable, beautiful, yet murky, are the waters that four women pushing forty take on during an annual vacation, trialling white-water rafting for the first time. This holiday forms the crux of the storyline of Erica Ferencik’s novel, The River at Night.

Pia Zanderlee is the leader of a quartet of lifelong friends, who every year commit to a vacation together. It is Pia’s turn to choose the vacation and the thriller seeker in her cannot help but be drawn to the adventure of a white
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

When I finished reading: wow intense nice, weird antagonist, boring first half, doesn’t pull its punches about the ugliness of female friendships.

Concept: ★★★★
Tension: ★★ and ★★★★★, depending
Antagonist: ★★★

The River at Night is one hell of an interesting read. I can't say I enjoyed most of it, but it definitely hooked me in and I read it in (mostly) one sitting. Equally frustrating and invigorating.

The main character, Win, is a woman who is quietly aging her way through medioc
Liz Barnsley
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I raced through this one it was a really rocking read - my geekish love of horror movies came into play here and added to that it had the female friendship vibe on acid - seriously if you are lost in the wild you soon find out what people are really made of!

I liked the way the author took the time to set things up beautifully so that once we hit the rapids so to speak you are deeply involved with this little gang. You'll probably be randomly annoyed by one or all of them but the group dynamic is
Crime by the Book
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars for this gripping, heart-pounding novel!! I'm not typically a reader of adventure thrillers, but THE RIVER AT NIGHT provided just the balance of adventure, thriller, and character-driven story that I need to keep me hooked.

THE RIVER AT NIGHT follows a group of 4 middle-aged women as they embark on their annual girls trip. Winifred, our main character, is a rather timid and self-doubting woman. When one of her friends, Pia, suggests a white-water rafting trip for their annual getaway
Edward  Goetz
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, general-fiction
More like 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was a fun read that distracted me from a world that is pretty crazy right now. It's not going to win any awards, but the author put together good characters, good writing, and a plausible, exciting plot. Enough said. ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found on

I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book more accurately labeled before, talk about a thriller! I did cut a small part out of the blurb as I think it shows a minor spoiler and all you really need to know is that Wini, Pia, Sandra and Rachel plan their annual girls trip and nothing goes according to plan.

Once the action starts it is nonstop and merciless, though it does take a little time to get there. I enjoyed the initial set up as it provided
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I fell in love with the cover of The River at Night, which definitely influenced my decision to pull it off the TBR shelf. It follows 4 friends on their girls-only white-water rafting "vacation" in Maine. This was a super quick read, and though it wasn't a deep or profound story IMO, it was a fast-paced page turner. For the most part this story follows the cookie-cutter survival story trope, with a few surprises along the way. While the portrayal of most of the characters is pretty shallow, we g ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Stars. Surprisingly good!
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 The cover of The River at Night called me to pick it up! This has been on my shelf for quite a while and I was so excited to start.

4 friends go on a rafting trip to an 'off the grid' river with a 20 something male guide. That's almost enough information to know that this is the perfect set up for suspense. It is a suspenseful novel with the river as an additional character with these novice rafters conjuring up their nerve and bravado to ride the river and camp in a damp, dark foerest in the
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
As with most books lately, The River at Night is another book I had seen popping up on various social media sites so I was delighted to be able to get my hands on a review copy from Bloomsbury.

The River at Night is a pretty fast paced read with relatively short chapters. I always find that this makes me read a little faster, because one more chapter is never enough when they are short and punchy. In this case, they almost always ended with a question (not literally) and the reader has to keep tu
This was "meh" for me unfortunately -- I was expecting a kickass, feminist version of Deliverance and what I ended up with was a lukewarm, trashy, woman-in-peril scenario that never quite grips hard enough. It's ho-hum, pedestrian writing, and the lead characters are all fairly cardboard cutouts, shallow and mostly dislikeable.

It also looks like Eli Roth is set to adapt this for the big screen. Yeah, that sounds about right. There's just enough "murderous hillbilly" and potential for torture por
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars

** Thank you to Goodreads for the opportunity to read this through their giveaway.

Ok, I admit it.....I absolutely enjoyed this! I couldn't put it down--I was riveted the whole time. I've seen people comparing this to Deliverance, I don't know anything about that, but instead this reminded me of The River Wild with Meryl Streep. Instead of a family though, you have 4 friends who find themselves in trouble. I thought this had enough action and suspense to keep me reading. I loved this s
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-like
Well The River At Night by Erica Ferencik was for me to damn slow I found myself bored & didn't grab my attention at all, took to long to get to the river & what happened there this just wasn't for me. ...more
Aug 31, 2019 added it
Not that I ever really had much interest in going camping, but I definitely have no desire to do so now.
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Oprah chose Erica Ferencik’s debut novel, The River at Night as a #1 Pick, calling the book “the page-turning novel you’ve been waiting for, a heart-pounding debut.” Entertainment Weekly named it a “Must Read,” and calls the novel “harrowing…a visceral, white knuckle rush.” Miramax has recently optioned the novel for a film.
Her new novel, Into the Jungle, one woman's terrifying journey of surviva

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23 likes · 3 comments
“What did the mountains care about our plan to climb them, rafting the waters that divided them? They had eternity before us, and eternity after us. We were nothing to them.” 3 likes
“The world we know is dwarfed by the worlds we don't. Why not explore them all? Being out there in the wilderness, you have no idea what'll happen, really. It could be just you and this gorgeous night sky, or maybe you are surfing and some big ass wave comes at you, and if you don't ride that sucker, it'll put you under and have you for lunch, or you might turn a corner on a hike and there's some beautiful deer and her little fawn-- now that has meaning, all of those things, and I need more of that and less of trying to make money so I can pay bills to live in a way I just don't care about anymore.” 2 likes
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