“As I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils, I will believe it a good comfortable road until I am compelled to believe differently.”
~ Meriwether Lewis, Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
“Where the River Ends”
In what amounts to a barely more than an outpost at the intersection of three rivers in Southwestern Pennsylvania, orphaned siblings Charlotte and Daniel Weaver have no choice but to rely on the charity of others to survive.
Their caretakers are less than charitable, however, and when Daniel leaves on a river flatboat with a promise to return to help to secure their financial future, 15-year-old Charlotte realizes she must rely on her resourcefulness and resolve to survive. Determined to escape from an arranged marriage, she chooses to risk everything and follow her brother down the unpredictable rivers rolling south toward New Orleans.
The rivers don’t pose the only danger in this early frontier, however. Travel on land, through hundreds of miles of isolated wilderness, hides unseen terrors. Known as the Devil’s Backbone, the 400-mile stretch of barely navigable trails that serves as the sole passable route between Nashville, TN and Natchez, MS harbors the worst of lawless criminals that prey on travelers.
When Charlotte finds herself trapped in the grip and seduction of a band of violent outlaws who make the trails their hunting ground for victims, she faces one impossible choice after another to keep herself alive and reunite with her brother.