Monday, March 9, 2015

"anna's crossing" by suzanne woods fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is back with another delightful Amish novel, this one set shortly after the church's founding.

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.

Anna's Crossing is not your typical Amish novel. Set in 1737 and taking place nearly entirely on a ship crossing the Atlantic, it really just reads like historical fiction. Though Anna and the members of her party are Amish, their brand of faith doesn't seem as restrictive and separated as what's present in the Amish faith today. (The extreme lack of technology in the 1700s probably has something to do with this perception!) In essence, what I'm saying is this: If you're not a fan of Amish fiction but you enjoy historical fiction, you should give Anna's Crossing a shot.

The plot, which moves very quickly, unfolds from three perspectives: Anna's, Bairn's, and Felix's. Anna and Bairn's love story is sweet, and the slow unpacking of Bairn's history is incredibly satisfying. Yet I found myself itching to read more about 8-year-old rapscallion Felix, who reminded me very much of a young Jimmy Fisher from Fisher's Stoney Ridge books. (Jimmy Fisher is one of my favorite Fisher characters, so seeing a Jimmy-esque character in Anna's Crossing made me very happy.)

As I have come to expect from Fisher's novels, Anna's Crossing has a laugh-out-loud funny moment, which, of course, features Felix. I love that amid the seriousness of her novels, Fisher always manages to bring in some humor!

Though the book didn't wrap up in the way I'd imagined (I was hoping for just one more scene after the end), Anna's Crossing is incredibly satisfying. I highly recommend it to fans of Amish fiction and/or historical fiction. 4-1/2 stars.

Read an excerpt.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Fisher's Inn at Eagle Hill series: The Letters (3-1/2 stars), The Calling (5 stars), The Rescue (novella: 4-1/2 stars), The Revealing (5 stars); her Stoney Ridge Seasons series: The Haven (4-1/2 stars), The Lesson (4-1/2 stars); and her Christmas books: A Lancaster County Christmas and Christmas at Rose Hill Farm (4-1/2 stars).

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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