BOOK REVIEW: Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

When Anna König first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the Charming Nancy, their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naïve farmers--dubbed "Peculiars" by deckhands--across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature. For her part, Anna can't seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship's carpenter, despite warnings.

When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?

Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.

I can't blame my hiatus from blogging for not having read this book prior to now.  Well, perhaps I can I mean it's only been 2 years-ish since it was released.  I've somehow kept my head in the sand to have missed out on this book and ensuing series.  Thanks to CelebrateLit and the opportunity to review 'The Return' (the last book in this trilogy)  I was given a really valid excuse to go to the beginning.  'Anna's Crossing' sets the stage for what I anticipate to be a pretty amazing series.  

Anna doesn't want to travel with the rest of her community to the New World.  Her Grandparents aren't going and she doesn't wish to leave them behind knowing that she'll never see them again.  However, she's the only one who can speak English thanks to her Grandfather's teaching and his belief that language and learning are vital to lifelong success.  I never really picked up on what had become of her parents.  Once they boarded the ship however it became less about Anna and more about Bairn.  I didn't mind so much as his story was also intriguing but it was very unexpected.  I figured out what he was hiding from before it was totally revealed but I was completely OK with that.  I think that he never pieced it together before he did was somewhat surprising.  Yet I understand it.  A lot of life happened in the interim.  And most of it not pleasant.

Fisher did an amazing job of building characters that had amazing strength and integrity.  While I didn't fully grasp the backstory of their leaving for America or even the little bits that were shared in the story of how they came to be to begin with it didn't matter.  I was there as they took on the hard decisions.  As they faced their fears.  As they triumphed over it all and had the grace in difficult times to still show the strength and faith of God.  I can't wait to dive into the next book and discover what happens with Anna and Bairn as they begin life in the new world.  And as Bairn's secret comes to light.

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Anna's Crossing (Amish Beginnings, #1)

About Suzanne Woods Fisher
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.
Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can't life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

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