Monday, March 9, 2015

Review - "Anna's Crossing" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Cover Art
Anna's Crossing
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

An Amish Beginnings Novel
Published by Revell
336 Pages
Target Audience: Adults
Genres: Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

About this book:

"Some endings are really beginnings . . .

On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna K├Ânig 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
."

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Anna's Crossing is a historical fiction book about how some of the Amish first came to America. It shows some of the hardships that the Amish and Mennonites would have faced when they traveled by ship and made the difficult journey to America in the 1700s.

The story in Anna's Crossing is told from three different characters' perspectives: Anna's - a young Amish woman who is reluctantly traveling with other Amish from her hometown to America; Bairn's - the carpenter of the Charming Nancy ship who hopes to someday be captain of his own ship and who would rather be transporting cargo than people; and Felix's - a curious and sometimes troublemaking Amish boy who is interested in everything there is to know about sailing a ship. I really liked that Felix's perspective was included in addition to the two main adult characters' perspectives as I enjoyed reading about his character and seeing what mischief he would get into next.

I liked Anna's character. She has a strong faith in God throughout the story and she trusts in Him even during the most difficult times during their journey. She also shows compassion for others, even when it's hard to or when some don't deserve it.

I did not, however, care for Georg Schultz's character. He gave me the creeps from the beginning with the way he acted towards Anna, and I was extremely unhappy when he made a reappearance at one point in the story. Just a warning that at one point he does basically attempt to sexually assault Anna, but thankfully she is saved before he can do anything to her. By the end of the book I understood why he was written into the story, but I wish his character had been handled differently and I wish the parts with him being a creep towards Anna had been left out.

I don't typically read Amish fiction, but I love to read historical fiction and this book sounded interesting. It was interesting to read about how some of the Amish first came to America and to see what they would have gone through on their journey. An Author's Note is also included at the end of the novel where the author wrote about what parts of her novel are factual and which parts are based off of assumptions or made up.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book. There were some things I did like about it and I did learn some new things about history and the Amish. However, I can't say I particularly enjoyed this book, mainly due to Georg's character.

*I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for my honest review.


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