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About Katherine Stillerman
Stillerman graduated Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, with a BA in history. She also earned an MA in intermediate education from Campbell University in Buies' Creek, North Carolina and an EdD in educational leadership from UNC-Greensboro.
Stillerman has made her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the last thirty-five years. She and her husband Bill have four grown sons and ten grandchildren.
For more information about Stillerman's books, please visit file://localhost/www.http/::historicalnovel.com, or contact Katherine P. Stillerman at mailto:email@example.com.
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When she takes a job as secretary in a small insurance firm, a potential romance develops between Hattie and her boss, Seth Snoddy However, an unexpected turn causes her to reevaluate whether she can ever settle for a marriage of convenience.
Hattie learns that the only way she will rise above her misfortune is to remain true to herself. It is this insight that empowers her to regain her hope in the future and move on. As she does, new possibilities arrive in the form of a letter from her first love, Will Kendrick.
The fourth book in the Barton Family Series, Rising Above It, continues the theme of love and reconciliation running through the previous novels.
As a young bride, twenty-three years her husband’s junior, Hattie struggles for acceptance in the community and Barton family. And then, Will Kendrick, her first love, appears, causing old feelings to resurface. When Julia Martin, the widow of Charles’s best friend Percy, reaches out to Charles for legal advice in settling her husband’s estate, Hattie discovers clues casting doubt on Charles’s fidelity, and begins to question her marriage.
As Hattie throws herself into her work to gain the vote for women, South Carolina’s reactionary politicians Ben Tillman and “Cotton Ed” Smith thwart suffrage efforts in the state at every turn. Even the progressive president Wilson drags his feet, invoking states rights as the only pathway to an amendment. Equally discouraging is the anti-suffragist sentiment among those of Hattie’s own gender.
When Hattie’s sister-in-law Alice learns to drive and purchases a 1916 Saxon touring car, Hattie agrees to go on a road trip to join the peaceful protests in Washington on the eve of President Wilson’s second inauguration. Alice also invites Julia Martin to go along, and to Hattie’s chagrin, Julia is sitting in the passenger seat when the two arrive from Columbia to pick her up. The journey brings new insight and fresh perspective, enabling Hattie to resolve misunderstandings with Charles and convincing her to continue her work for suffrage, with her husband’s blessings.
But the road Hattie has chosen becomes even more fraught with disappointing setbacks and delays. In 1917, the US declares war on Germany and the president mobilizes the country in the fight for freedom in Europe, ignoring the oppression of the rights of women at home. Public opinion shifts, casting the women’s movement as unpatriotic and subversive.
Hattie does her part for the war and agonizes when Charles Jr. and the boys from Calhoun are drafted and sent to the front. She continues to support the suffrage cause, but must cancel a second road trip due to gas rationing.
When the war ends, she travels with Alice and Julia and Charles Jr.’s fiancée Pauline, to Washington to join the peaceful protests at the White House, organized by Alice Paul and the Woman’s Party. The women become inspired to drive on to New York to join the demonstration against president Wilson, who is speaking at the New York Opera House on the eve of his return to the Paris peace negotiations. The peaceful demonstration turns violent when the police and soldiers, who have flooded the ports on their return from war, begin shoving the suffragists and breaking and burning their banners.
Amidst the uproar, Pauline becomes convinced that she has spotted Charles Jr. in the crowd and is determined to go and look for him. Hattie persuades her that they must first go to police headquarters to find Alice and Julia, who have been arrested and detained there.
The Susan B. Anthony Amendment finally passes the Senate in 1919. But Hattie and the South Carolina suffragists endure their greatest disappointment yet when the South Carolina legislature refuses to ratify the amendment by an overwhelming majority. They must now depend on the men of other states to ensure their enfranchisement.
A letter from Will Kendrick breaks Hattie Robinson’s heart one week before her 1907 graduation from Greenville Female College. He’s ended their engagement, making mysterious references to events preventing him from committing to their relationship.
Alone and confused by Will’s cryptic letter, Hattie takes a position as an elementary school teacher in Calhoun, South Carolina, and tries to put her life back together. She moves in with prominent attorney Charles Barton, his wife Elizabeth, and their four sons.
Hattie’s attempts to start a new life are continually interrupted. A visit from Will shakes her to her core, while a tragedy in the Barton family throws her new home into turmoil.
Work offers little solace. With no legislation regulating child labor laws, South Carolina provides little help for teachers concerned with their charges’ welfare. But when an abusive father forces his ten-year-old daughter to quit school and take a back-breaking job at the local textile mill, Hattie knows she has to act, even if doing so puts her job at risk.
A tale of one woman’s determination to overcome the restraints of South Carolina society in the 1900s, Hattie’s’ Place tears at the heartstrings even as it inspires.
The resulting move thrusts the five members of the close knit Oechsner family into a community bathed in privilege, steeped in tradition, and staunchly resistant to change. Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, is a community separated only by a mountain ridge from the struggle for human rights being waged on the other side. And yet, it’s a community so distanced by privilege and color from its parent city and the needs of the poor and disenfranchised within, that it may as well be on the other side of the world.
Harriet must once again assume the role of the outsider adapting to another new school, her third in three years. Her encounters with new teachers and peers lead her into situations that are at times painful, lonely, embarrassing, shocking, and often humorous.
Harriet’s adjustment to her new school is fraught by teenage angst and emotion; and, as a child of the Cold War and the civil rights era, she is thrust into the realities of injustice, separation, and the threat of nuclear holocaust. However, the story maintains a hopeful tone, as the plot is interwoven with themes of inclusiveness, loyalty, friendship, and reconciliation.
Readers who fell in love with Hattie Robinson in Hattie’s Place and In the Fullness of Time, will be happy to know that Over the Mountain takes up two generations later, with Hattie’s granddaughter and namesake, Harriet, as the main character.
Beginning the day she walked out of her office for the last time, she took the next twelve months to work on ten resolutions that she had identified as critical to the accomplishment of her vision for a meaningful and purposeful retirement.
Over the months, she gained valuable insights into her past and pursued new pathways and interests for the future. In the end, she concluded that retirement is more like a journey than a destination; more like a construction project than a memory garden; more like a beginning than an ending. The book chronicles the steps in her journey into the first year.