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East of Everywhere

We all just want to know we're going somewhere we belong...



It’s been almost a decade since the end of the war, when the telegram first arrived at their house on Lennox Lane.


Four years since the apartment on Harker Street, where food was scarce and nights were long and their mother slept away her grief.


Three months since Janie was forced to leave her little brother, Brayden, and best friend, Leo, behind at Anthers Hall.


Two weeks since she stole a bicycle and ran away from the new children’s home on the other side of the state.


One day since she arrived in Montours City.


No one knows her secrets in this small town. If Janie is going to make it back to her brother and the only place she’s ever called home, she needs to keep it that way. But when a hard-hearted widow, a boy in a boxcar, and a dog named Panda weave their way into her life, Janie begins to wonder if what she’s searching for isn't better off laid to rest.

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Editorial Reviews

"It’s the mid-1950s, and 17-year-old Janie Emery has just arrived in the town of Montours City by bicycle, homeless and friendless and looking for work. She thought she experienced her “One Terrible Thing” 10 years ago, when her father was killed in World War II, but the subsequent decade brought only more tribulations: the death of her mother, which forced her and her brother, Brayden, to go live at the Anthers Hall orphanage; her move to a new orphanage, separating her from Brayden and from her best friend, the bookish Leo Wesley; and her risky choice to run away from St. Anthony’s and get back to Brayden, hoping to rescue him once she turns 18 in a matter of days. For now, she’s looking for work and a place to sleep. She finds a job with Mr. Calhoun, a kindly local handyman who is helping to rehab the mansion that Henry Mayhew, the scion of a wealthy local family, is turning into a home for sick children. She doesn’t plan to stay long, but she’s soon drawn into the tragedy-scarred lives of those around her, including Henry; his mother, Imogene; and Janie’s new housemate, Callie Webster. As she writes letters to Leo, perhaps she will finally be able to confront past traumas. Pogorzelski’s prose is effectively measured and exact, as when Janie lies in bed in a boardinghouse: “Someone downstairs was playing the piano—and not very well, it would seem. Janie rolled over in her bed and stared at the beams that ran across the ceiling, listening to tiny hands hit the same three notes again and again and again.” Jane Eyreis mentioned several times, and, indeed, the novel unfolds at a Brontë-an pace that may turn off readers who are used to speedier YA fiction. Even so, Janie will win readers over as the story unfolds. Although the twist at the end is slightly predictable, the general reading experience is enjoyable.

An often solemn but immersive story about finding a new home."

 - Kirkus Indie Review


"This was really moving to read. Stories of grief and emotional pain are not always the most fun to read, but this book gave me a sense of feeling that was quite unique. Janie deals with so much as a character that we can't help but feel for her. She experiences loneliness, loss, massive amounts of grief and suffering, and yet is still able to move along in trying to figure out how to find a successful situation for herself emotionally and physically. I appreciated the way we get to see some of the inner workings of her feelings as she navigates these massively emotional situations and think those are important to write about, though difficult to feel and express. The story moves well and the book itself looks professionally formatted. I liked the way the book ended off with Janie, and while that might not work for readers who prefer solid answers to the stories, it seemed to impress to me again that who Janie ends up being with is not the focus of the book, but the emotional growth and intense feeling she goes through is the most meaningful part of the reading."

- Judge, 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Reader Reactions

"This story is both beautiful and heartbreaking... It unfolds like a memoir of hazy memories. I loved it!" - Amazon Review


"This was such a sweet story that I could resonate with. No matter your circumstances in this world, we all belong somewhere and we are someone important. The relationship between Leo and Janie was especially my favorite. We have so much to be blessed about even if our every day life seems bleek. I highly recommend this book!" - Amazon Review


"Janie is relatable as the female mc and you want to cheer her on even when she's being insecure. And as always, you can catch me liking a book if there's a dog involve, especially with a cute name like "Panda." Been hooked on this era recently for historical fiction. Definitely would recommend reading this. References of Jane Eyre had me glad I just recently read that too!"  - Amazon Review


"The story in this book wasn't flashy, but told a gentle story of life. I enjoyed that it moved back and forth along different timelines and slowly gave way to the full understanding of everything that occurred. I felt invested in the main character, wanting to know where she had been and where she was going. The story could have continued on beyond the ending, but I liked that the story kind of faded and allowed you to wonder at what may happen next."  - GoodReads Review

Fun Stuff
East of Everywhere Video Promos

Further Reading

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