Clement and Angel are fraternal twins separated at birth; they grow up in the same small, frontier logging town of Stillwater, Minnesota. Clement was left at the orphanage. Angel was adopted by the town’s richest couple, but is marked and threatened by her mother’s mental illness. They rarely meet, but Clement knows if he is truly in need, Angel will come to save him.
Stillwater, near the Mississippi River and Canada, becomes an important stop on the Underground Railroad. As Clement and Angel grow up and the country marches to war, their lives are changed by many battles for freedom and by losses in the struggle for independence, large and small.
Stillwater reveals the hardscrabble lives of pioneers, nuns, squaws, fur trappers, loggers, runaway slaves and freedmen, outlaws and people of conscience, all seeking a better, freer, more prosperous future. It is a novel about mothers, about siblings, about the ways in which we must take care of one another and let go of one another. And it’s brought to us in Nicole Helget’s winning, gorgeous prose.
Stillwater is a sweeping story of mid-19th century struggles; a pioneer tapestry of building settlements, fighting for freedom, gaining independence, and seeking refuge from racial strife. These extraordinary decades are experienced through the eyes of fraternal twins. Abandoned and separated at birth, Angel lives an affluent life but one without the true lessons only a loving family can provide. Clement is destined for a life of hardship but thrives because of love of an unusual family. This is a gripping read with a hint of history, much intrigue, and the result is hours of entertainment. Nicole Hekgat is a skillful storyteller.
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