Book Review for The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher
ABOUT THE BOOK
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 was a wonderful read. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and I felt as if I was right there along side them in their journeys. Each of them having their on struggles, growing pains, and lessons. It was neat to see how all of it came together. Anna seemed a pillar of strength at the same time set her in her ways. I felt so torn for Bairn as he was trying to decide if Amish life was for him. He was born Amish but kidnapped as a younger child and then reunited with his family as an adult. After living a life totally different from the Amish I could feel his torn nature trying to make the best decision that would fit him. The romance between Anna and him feels pure but very strained. She is a solid Amish woman in love with him and she feels this restless nature that Amish life may not be for him.
Then you have "The Newcomer" and this story begins to twist ever so much. Henrik seems perfect. Everything Anna would like in a man but her heart is truly in love with Bairn. But Bairn is still in limbo on what he wants and I was for sure that the story would end different and it blew my mind.
The author added some funny humor with Felix, Bairn's younger brother and this really lightens the book. I giggled a few times because he was so accident prone and was always causing problems. But he was so clueless to it.
Bairn and his parents have a unique relationship and at first I really thought the father was totally controlling and cold. But once again a turn of events twists things.
I felt the hardship of these people as they fought their way to America in hopes of freedom to worship and live peaceful hardworking lives. I enjoyed the way the author was realistic in their hardships on the boat to get over to America and the reality of how hard it was for immigrants that came to America. It opened my eyes to see again the beauty of the Freedom our Great Country (USA) offered so many people.
I enjoyed this book very much. It had the right balance of romance, mystery, heartache, growing pains, life lessons, and faith building in it. I really just enjoyed how she intertwined all the people and the relationships between them. Then she blew me away almost at the end with the outcome of Henrik.
There really wasn't anything I didn't like other than it was drawn out a hair too long. I loved it other than that. It was interesting enough for me to keep reading it and looking forward to my time to do so. If it would have been any longer I may not have liked it as much.
I give this book 4 stars!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction. Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research. For fun, too.
Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. She has an underlying belief in her books–you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles into your life: simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily, trusting in God.
When Suzanne isn’t writing, playing tennis, or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies (so cute!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.
** I was given a free copy by Revell Publishers to review this book. No compensation was received.**