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Clement and Angel are fraternal twinsseparated at birth; they grow up in the same small, frontier loggingtown 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 andCanada, 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.
Stillwaterreveals the hardscrabble lives of pioneers, nuns, squaws, fur trappers, loggers, runaway slaves and freedmen, outlaws and people of conscience, all seekinga 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 sbrought to us in Nicole Helget's winning, gorgeous prose.