Poison River Series, Book 1

A sulfur sky poisoned her family and her heart. Now revenge tastes sweeter than justice.

It’s 1900. In a Pennsylvania coal town tainted by corruption and pollution, Charlotte's world collapses when her parents meet a tragic end. Sent to a foster family in a Maryland fishing village, she’s fueled by grief and embarks on a relentless quest for justice against the ruthless coal boss, Nels Pritchard.

But Charlotte is no ordinary girl. She shares the fiery spirit of her father, whose powerful speeches inspired worker riots. With a burning desire for vengeance, she sets out to uncover the truth behind Pritchard's crimes, unearthing a shocking connection between the town's toxic air and the lifeless fish washing up on the shore of her Chesapeake Bay foster town.

To expose the truth, Charlotte builds a network of unexpected allies. There are gutsy suffragists, a literary society of teenage girls willing to print the truth… and Weylan. The captivating young man lost his own family to Pritchard’s poison. He offers support, but Charlotte questions his true motives when he lures her to break the law. Could she be falling into a dangerous trap, leading her to a fate worse than poison?

With her unwavering spirit and determination, Charlotte must forge alliances and navigate a web of treachery before Pritchard seeks his own ruthless revenge.

The newest book by award-winning author Jennifer M. Lane is perfect for fans of Jeannette Walls’ Hang the Moon and the fiery protagonist in The Hunger Games. Join Charlotte in this small town, coming-of-age dystopian historical saga as she finds resilience, courage, and triumph in her search for identity, independence, and her true home.

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Early Praise for Downriver

Downriver receives four stars from The Historical Fiction Company

"Downriver by Jennifer M. Lane is a captivating and profound reading experience, skillfully blending emotion and suspense to create a memorable story. Through well-rounded characters and a well-constructed plot, the author takes us on a journey full of twists and lessons. From resilience to the power of hope and solidarity, the novel explores universal themes with sensitivity and depth. With its captivating narrative style... Downriver is a book that will stay in readers’ minds long after the final page is turned.” - Read more here.