A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell Reads. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Amish Beginnings #2
Published by Baker Book House on January 31st 2017
Source: Revell Reads
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, Romance
As the first Amish in America settle in Pennsylvania, Bairn and Anna's shipboard romance is tested by a newcomer--and a place full of new possibilities.
In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It's a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, 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--isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father--his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not--bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
The Newcomer is book number two in the Amish Beginning series by Suzanne Woods Fisher and tells the story of how the early Amish settled in America. As always, Suzanne Woods Fisher proves to be one of most spiritually minded writers of Amish fiction. She demonstrates knowledge of the scripture and a clear understanding of the word of God which makes her one of my favorite writers of the genre.
In book one, Anna’s Crossing, we were introduced to a young woman named Anna and a group of Amish that were crossing the ocean on a ship named The Charming Nancy. Though this series is a fictional retelling of the event, The Charming Nancy really did exist and she crossed the ocean carrying Amish families to Port Philadelphia in 1737.
In The Newcomer, the group of settlers have arrived in the New World and are met with new dangers and hardships. The New World is not an easy place to live in and the group’s physical and spiritual limits are pushed to a breaking point.
Anna has reconnected with a childhood friend that she feels destined to be with but Bairn is struggling with the idea of remaining Amish. The sea calls to him and he simply cannot resist. To Anna’s dismay, he embarks on “one last journey,” before settling down.
Anna is conflicted about whether she should wait on Bairn or go on with her life. It isn’t that she doesn’t love him, she just worries that he loves the sea too much to ever truly settle down.
When difficulties arise, uncertainty sets in for the group. Some consider that maybe they made a mistake in coming to the New World and the group’s faith is shaken. Only the newcomer seems to be able to pull the group together and it begins to seem to Anna that maybe Henrik is everything that Bairn is not. Does she wait for the man she loves or does she settle for the man that makes sense?
This is a tale of love, faith and adventure beautifully woven into an authentic historical setting. You can really tell that the author put a lot of thought and research into this book. The inclusion of historical figures and landmarks give a very clear picture of life for the early Amish settlers.
If you are a fan of Historical and/or Amish fiction, I definitely suggest this book. Also keep an eye out for book #3, The Return, which is to be published in August 2017