Ruthless River

  • by Holly FitzGerald
  • Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
  • 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Holly FitzGerald and her husband, Fitz - married less than two years - set out on a yearlong honeymoon adventure of a lifetime, backpacking around the world. Five months into the trip, their plane crash-lands in Peru at a penal colony walled in by jungle, and their blissfully romantic journey turns into a terrifying nonstop labyrinth of escape and survival.
On a small, soon-ravaged raft that quickly becomes their entire universe through dangerous waters alive with deadly animals and fish, their only choice: to continue on despite the rush of insects swarming them by day, the sounds of encroaching predators at night. Without food or means of communication, with no one to hear their cries for help or on a search-and-rescue expedition to find them, the author and her husband make their way, fighting to conquer starvation and navigate the brute force of the river, their only hope for survival, in spite of hunger and weakening resolve, to somehow, miraculously, hang on and find their way east to a large riverside town - before it is too late.

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What the Critics Say

"Both travel memoir and shocking adventure story, like a real-life Survivor or Naked and Afraid.... A powerful story about survival, love, and faith in the face of impossible odds.... Unputdownable...absolutely fascinating." (Katie Lawrence, Library Journal)
"Vivid and consistently compelling.... An absorbing tale of survival, love, and the generosity of people who helped save their lives." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A detailed, high-stakes debut memoir...FitzGerald weaves in the stories from their past with palpable, evocative details of their daily struggles with starvation, strong currents, and despair, all while the couple's love, self-knowledge, and faith deepen.... Recommended for fans of survival narratives, coming-of-maturity stories, and travelogues from off the beaten path." (Louisa Whitfield-Smith, Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Narration is off

The narrator makes this resilient woman & protagonist often sounds childlike/naive as opposed to what the story conveys - thoughtful and strong. This is a frustrating as the listener.
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- laura

Highly improbably story told in romanticized manner

This reads like an old woman's romanticized retelling of a terrible and pointless journey down an Amazonian tributary. It lacks the visceral qualities that could bring the experience to life for the reader. Instead, FitsGerald sweetens her language, relying on cliche phrases. The jungle is "colorful." A nurse "slips" an IV into her arm.

If this story happened, it didn't happen as she described it. She's tried to make it too palatable. The pictures she painted of her husband and herself are of staunch forbearance. It's a little too good to be true.
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- Kate

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-30-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio