The River by Peter Heller [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: The River

Author: Peter Heller

Publisher: Knopf

Publish Date: March 5, 2019

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The River by Peter Heller


Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.

The River by Peter Heller


Two college best friends, Wynn and Jack, travel to Canada to canoe the Maskwa River and spend time in the wilderness. They envision a leisurely trip to enjoy nature, but their journey soon takes a turn. For starters, a wildfire is heading their way. Then, they hear a couple arguing, but the next day, they encounter a man paddling alone. Wynn and Jack decide to go in search of the missing woman.

A lovely story of male friendship, adventure, and nature. Wynn and Jack met as freshmen in college and soon bonded over their love for books and nature. The young men are both knowledgeable of the wilderness and capable of taking care of themselves. Their canoeing adventure turns into a suspenseful search for a missing woman and a trip out of the wilderness before the wildfire reaches them.

The River is a beautifully written novel. I enjoy novels that focus on nature, and found this one to be very well done. Also, the wonderful male friendship in this book was great to read. The River is slow-paced, though it does get more exciting toward the end.

I received a digital copy of this book via Penguin’s First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

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