“Twin Willows” by Kay Cornelius takes place in the Northwest Territory around 1782. It begins in 1764 with the birth of twin girls to a Delaware Indian woman, Silverwillow, and her husband, a white Scottish trader named Ian McNight. Silverwillow dies in childbirth. The Indian women who tended her decide to keep one of the daughters as her own and hide her birth from her father. Ian takes his daughter, Anna Willow, to his sister to raise since his trapping and trading keep him on the move. Anna Willow is sent to a girls’ finishing school in Philadelphia, where she stays until she graduates at 18. She is looked down on because of her Indian blood and is not considered a good match for any of the young men there. She meets the nephew of the headmistress, Stuart Martin. They fall in love, but Willow must leave and return to her aunt’s home and Stuart must continue his education. She is not wanted at the farm because of her mixed heritage and because her aunt has willed her the farm ground. Her father has claimed a piece of ground in Kentucky and must stay there to keep it safe from marauders. Willow decides to travel to her father at Bryan’s Station. Her purpose is to have her father travel with her to her mother’s village.
In the meantime, Anna Willow’s twin, Willow has been raised in the Delaware tribe and is also now grown. Her “mother” wants to travel to her home tribe, so Willow travels with her. Along the way, her mother sickens and they are given help by a Shawnee warrior, White Eagle. White Eagle takes Willow and her mother to his Shawnee camp where they are welcomed. Willow and White Eagle soon marry.
Because the girls look so much alike, they are mistaken for one another. Willow is taken by her father to Kentucky, but in the meantime, there is a raid on Bryan’s Station and Anna Willow is taken by an Indian back to his camp, thinking that she is Willow. Events continue from there, although to say more would give the ending away. Suffice it to say that this was an intriguing book. The historical period is quite interesting as the setting of the book is where I live. I think anyone interested in reading about the past will enjoy this novel.
I received a free Kindle copy of this book for my honest review from the publisher. The opinions expressed here are my own.