Suzanne Woods Fisher's book The Newcomer is the second novel in the Amish Beginnings series. After reading this story, I am excited to go back and read the first novel, Anna's Crossing. The setting for this book is the New World. Men and women have traveled by ship through the perilous waters of the Atlantic in the hopes of finding a better life in this beginning land. Coming from Germany, there is so much to learn about the strange terrain they will encounter, because it is so different from anything they have ever known. And they will have to learn English; however, there are several individuals who believe it will not be necessary, because they expect to live and work only amongst their people. Yet, Bairn and Anna know it will be incredible difficult to communicate with anyone unless they understand this language. After all, they must learn to interact with those in the town in order to live, eat, and survive in the days ahead.
Anna knew it would be difficult. After saying goodbye to her grandparents, she takes a leap of faith as she boards the Charming Nancy to enter an unknown journey. Hopeful that the days ahead will be less difficult than her life in Germany, the people around her are leaving their homes in search of religious freedom. So much happens throughout their time together though and Anna begins to wonder if peace will ever enter their church family again. Why is God allowing so many terrible things to happen to them? After leaving the ship, it seems her church faces one traumatic event after another. And when a strange man enters their midst, his positive outlook seems to give all the answers regarding each and every moment of their days. Does this man really believe all he says? And why did he decide to join their church? His character puzzles Anna, because she does not completely understand his thinking. Nevertheless, more confusion occurs when she starts to realize the stranger is falling in love with her.
Bairn's life has not gone according to plan for many years now. His childhood was not what it should have been, and he has spent so much time trying to heal from its physical and mental scars, and also the anger he has towards his father. Being at sea helps him to deal with the past, yet he will soon learn that you cannot run away from your problems. His love for Anna causes him to want to protect her; however, sometimes his decisions regarding the life he wants to give to her, does not leave Anna in the best place. It leaves her alone and quite vulnerable to those in her company. Despite his mistakes, Bairn wants to do what is honorable, yet time is always involved when a person needs to grow. And Bairn needs to work though his own pain in order to realize what he has gained in life.
This book is a wonderful read, because the story in so engaging. One scene flows easily into the next, and I could not wait to hear what happened in each character's life. Interestingly, there is an intense turn of events toward the end of the story that I did not see coming. And with each turn of the page, the lives of this small Amish community become more and more challenging, which is why I cannot wait for book three in this series, The Return. I am so happy Fisher is writing another saga to this amazing adventure. If you enjoy stories of family, faith, love, and perseverance, then you will love this novel. I highly recommend checking out this book and other books written by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Revell Publishers for my copy.
About The Book
*In 1737, Anna Konig staggers off a small wooden ship after teen weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. It's a time of new beginnings, and for Anna and Bairn's shipboard romance to blossom.
But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World, his enthusiasm evaporates. When a ship captain offers him a first mate position, he grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
As a newcomer joins the church, Anna is torn. This man is everything Bairn is not--bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And he is here. Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves the lives of Bairn, Anna, and the newcomer together. When the secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.
About The Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna's Crossing, The Bishop's Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.