Amish Beginnings series / by Suzanne Woods Fisher. 10.18.2018

The Newcomer / by Suzanne Woods Fisher. (Amish Beginnings series, 2)

Revell ISBN 9780800727499

The Return / by Suzanne Woods Fisher. (Amish Beginnings series, 3)

Revell ISBN 9780800727505

Adult Rating: 4

Anna and Bairn’s story continues in The Newcomer. Having just arrived in the New World, Bairn finally reunites with the family who thought him dead. However, the years of living apart from his Amish family and faith are not so easily erased, and Bairn finds himself restless and unsure of where he belongs. When he is offered a position as first mate, he jumps at the chance.

Anna cannot believe he would leave her or his family so soon after finding them, and she begins to fear that the pull of the world and the sea will always keep him from her. Will Bairn find his way back to Anna and to his Amish roots? If so, will she still be waiting for him as she promised?

In The Return, Betsy Zook and Tessa Bauer find themselves infatuated with the same man, handsome Hans; however, it is clear that Hans’ affections lie with Betsy. When Betsy is captured by Natives and taken far from all she knows and loves, will her faith and the faith of a young Native man be enough to sustain her through her loss and heartache? Meanwhile, Tessa finally gains Hans’ attention, but will she ever win his heart?

In books two and three of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s “Amish Beginnings” series, old characters are revisited and new ones introduced, bringing the satisfaction of resolution and continued interest for fans of the first book. Fisher does an excellent job maintaining characterization throughout this series, while authentically merging fiction with history to weave a story of hope without shying away from the harsh realities of an untamed land. Romance, adventure, and suspense keep the pages turning, while the inner struggles and growth of the main characters will challenge and evoke a range of emotions.

Themes of forgiveness, coming home, letting go, and holding on are woven throughout the trials and lessons these characters endure along their personal journeys of life, love, and faith. Anna, Betsy, and Tessa are three women with unique personalities and experiences, but each possesses the same steadfast spirit necessary to survive the pioneer life. With its charm, flawed characters, and enduring faith, this series will be a favorite among fans of Amish and historical fiction.

Justina McBride, CLJ

Earlier Series Title Reviewed by CLJ: Anna’s Crossing (Oct/Nov/Dec 2016)