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Stillwater Cover


By Nicole Lea Helget

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780547898209, 336pp.

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

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.

Saturday, Feb 1, 2014

Nicole Helget's new novel, Stillwater, follows the lives of twins separated at birth � and raised on opposite sides of the tracks. Helget, who is proud to be called a "Minnesota novelist," tells NPR's Scott Simon about the photograph that inspired one of the book's central characters. More at

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