Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios

Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios

by Holly FitzGerald


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A stunning debut; a Departures original publication. The ultimate survival story; a wild ride—the wildest—down a South American river in the thick of the Amazon Basin; a true and thrilling adventure of a young married couple who survive a plane crash only to later raft hundreds of miles across Peru and Bolivia, ending up in a channel to nowhere, a dead end so flooded there is literally no land to stand on. Their raft—a mere four logs—separates them from the piranha-and-caiman-infested water until they finally realize that there is no way out but to swim. Vintage Original.

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. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525432777
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Series: Vintage Departures Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 339,245
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

HOLLY FITZGERALD was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. She graduated from Lake Erie College and received a master's degree in counseling from Suffolk University. FitzGerald worked as a counselor with children and adults for many years before teaching and counseling at Bristol Community College, New Bedford, Massachusetts. She lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt

“Have you thought of taking a raft? People here use rafts more than boats. We call them balsas. That’s the real means of transportation.”

Excerpted from "Ruthless River"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Holly FitzGerald.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 Waiting 7

Chapter 2 The Plane 14

Chapter 3 Jungle Trail 24

Chapter 4 Sepa 31

Chapter 5 Prisoners 44

Chapter 6 Puerto Maldonado 50

Chapter 7 Finding a Raft 61

Chapter 8 Launch Day 71

Chapter 9 First Day on the River 82

Chapter 10 The Border 90

Chapter 11 Flying Free 99

Chapter 12 The Storm 103

Chapter 13 Where Are We? 109

Chapter 14 The Rains Poured Down 118

Chapter 15 Hope 124

Chapter 16 The Logjam 133

Chapter 17 Dead Tree 145

Chapter 18 Wrestling Match 152

Chapter 19 Little Balsa 161

Chapter 20 SOS 165

Chapter 21 High Noon 168

Chapter 22 Swimming with Becky 176

Chapter 23 Log Bed 182

Chapter 24 Quickmud 189

Chapter 25 Rant 194

Chapter 26 Desire 198

Chapter 27 Butterflies 205

Chapter 28 Little Moments 214

Chapter 29 Bees 220

Chapter 30 What I Want 227

Chapter 31 Epiphany 231

Chapter 32 Snails 235

Chapter 33 Like Sticks 241

Chapter 34 My Hero 244

Chapter 35 Marsh Birds 248

Chapter 36 Rising Fear 255

Chapter 37 Tiny Frogs 259

Chapter 38 Time Meshes 264

Chapter 39 Chasing the Monkey 270

Chapter 40 Banana Chips 278

Chapter 41 Barraca 289

Chapter 42 Maryknoll 298

Chapter 43 Riberalta 307

Epilogue 313

Acknowledgments 315

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Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read about a couple’s will to explore and ultimately survive being lost in a South American river. The book is full of rich details and suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written true story of survival in the Amazon jungles of South America. An adventure turned into a nightmare for a couple on a second honeymoon, unprepared to survive but somehow finding the will and the way. A story of love and courage and luck. Once I began reading I found I couldn’t put it down!