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Steal the North

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


A novel of love in all its forms: for the land, for family, and the once-in-a-lifetime kind that catches two people when they least expect it

Emmy is a shy, sheltered sixteen-year-old when her mom, Kate, sends her to eastern Washington to an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. Fifteen years earlier, Kate had
abandoned her sister, Beth, when she fled her painful past and their fundamentalist church. And now, Beth believes Emmy’s participation in a faith healing is her last hope for having a child.

Emmy goes reluctantly, but before long she knows she has come home. She feels tied to the rugged landscape of coulees and scablands. And she meets Reuben, the Native American boy next door.

In a part of the country where the age-old tensions of cowboys versus Indians still play out, theirs is the kind of magical, fraught love that can only survive with the passion and resilience of youth. Their story is mirrored by the generation before them, who fears that their mistakes are doomed to repeat themselves in Emmy and Reuben. With Louise Erdrich’s sense of place and a love story in the tradition of Water for Elephants, this is an atmospheric family drama in which the question of home is a spiritual one, in which getting over the past is the only hope for the future.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 27, 2014 – Award-winning short story author Bergstrom makes a strong debut with her first novel. Emmy Nolan, a shy teenager brought up by a tough single mother in Sacramento, Calif., doesn't even know she has living relatives until her aunt tracks her mother down and begs for Emmy to attend a faith-healing ceremony the aunt's last chance, she believes, to carry a child to term after countless miscarriages. Emmy is shocked to discover that her mother was raised in a fundamentalist church and shunned by family and community after giving birth to Emmy while she was in high school. Once she arrives at her aunt's home in eastern Washington State, Emmy feels like a fraud (her aunt thinks she's both a Christian and a virgin; Emmy is neither), but grows to love her aunt and uncle, as well as Reuben, the Native American teenager next door. The book is far more than a story of love or belief, and its layers are peeled away as the narrative progresses. Chapters are written from the perspectives of several different characters (at times it feels like there are too many different points of view), often in second person, and the choice of present tense works. Emmy's self-involvement makes it difficult, at times, to remain completely in her corner. Reuben is by far the most charismatic character in the book. But Bergstrom takes the reader so deeply into the characters that it's easy to forgive the few things that don't work, because much of the book works so well.
Steal the North
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  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family
  • Published: Apr 10, 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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