Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Anna's Crossing Book Review

An Amish Beginnings Novel

SUMMARY:  Some endings are really beginnings . . .
     On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna König reluctantly sets foot on the Charming Nancy, a merchant ship that will carry her and her fellow Amish believers across the Atlantic to start a new life.  As the only one in her community who can speak English, she feels compelled to go.  But Anna is determined to complete this journey and return home - assuming she survives.  She's heard horrific tales of ocean crossings and worse ones of what lay ahead in the New World.  But fearfulness is something Anna has never known.
     Ship's carpenter Bairn resents the somber people - dubbed Peculiars by the deckhands - who fill the lower deck of the Charming Nancy.  All Bairn wants to do is to put his lonely past behind him, but that irksome and lovely lass Anna and her people keep intruding on him.  
     Delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions test the mettle and patience of everyone on board.  When Anna is caught in a life-threatening situation, Bairn makes a discovery that shakes his entire foundation.  But has the revelation come too late?
     Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing - and the lives of two intrepid people who braved it.

REVIEW:  In her latest novel, Suzanne Woods Fisher explores the idea of when the Amish first came to America.  Persecuted in their native Germany and Switzerland, they hope to live peacefully, worshipping the way the want and raising their families in Penn's Woods in the New World.  This story is about what life may have been like on board the ships that carried them away from the familiar to the unknown.  
     This book was different from the author's usual stories as the setting is a ship.  She describes the difficulties on board for the passengers: overcrowding, the horrible smells, seasickness and other illnesses, storms, death, and running out of drinking water. The reader is pulled into the story by Anna's reluctant willingness to step out of her comfort zone to help her community and to stand up for them when difficulties arise.  She helps them when they get sick and champions for them to get out of the hold for fresh air at least once a day. The story of Bairn's life growing up is difficult which affects his outlook on life and fuels his desire to make money.  His admiration for Anna grows as he sees how she gives of herself and makes sacrifices, one of which could have caused her death.  I was drawn into their tale and the attraction they felt for each other, even though they came from two completely different worlds.  The ending was one I had not expected.  Even though I had part of it figured out, the author took some twists and turns that made ending even better.  This is a wonderful book worth checking out and reading.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace.  She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp.  Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting.  She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines.  She lives in California.  Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

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