I can’t get over how I stumble upon new plots that seem to create an entire new genre. In The River At Night, another group of friends faced disaster when a vacation white water rafting left them stranded in the wilderness. Other recent reads with the same premise include, Love Her Madly and The Lie. Although this had a similar premise, I thought there would be more of a survival aspect here as Wini and her friends battled the elements when their boat capsized and left them without a guide. Instead, this was a completely ridiculous story that provided moderate entertainment against the absolute absurd plot events. I found some of the writing choppy which made it hard to understand what was even happening. I guess I just kept thinking that the plot would pick up, and so I kept reading.
The group of four friends were in their mid thirties, but their speech, actions, and mannerisms made them seem like college kids and gave this a YA feel. The main character, Wini’s main struggle was her disappointment over her failed marriage. That gave her a depressing base that she never quite got out of. I wished she would have been given some other character traits that were more positive. The friends weren’t very friendly to each other. I couldn’t figure out why they even still hung around each other as they barely spoke to each other, and many of their interactions were negative. Also, their stock character traits were just too predictable, i.e. the slutty friend who sleeps with the guide. Really? Is that the best we can do?
I was so excited to read this, that I should have known it would be a disappointment. I can’t believe this was on Oprah’s list, or any other list of books to read for that matter.