Tag Archives: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Top 10 Tuesday — Journeys to A New Life

12 Jun

My husband and I seem to have caught the travel bug. After 33 years of marriage in which we raised 3 kids and grew a business, we are now in the position to do a little traveling. An empty nest and a wonderful staff have made it doable. But our travels are short-lived and, except for the occasional blip, very routine. Not so for those who left everything to travel to a new place and a new life. I cannot imagine the anxiety people had in stepping out into the unknown. Whether by choice, or necessity, or through force, the characters in the following books stepped out in faith in their travels. These books are both historical and contemporary, but all of them share the desire for new beginnings.

For more traveling books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Journeys to A New Life

 

By Boat

Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

The Pelican Bride by Beth White

 

By Train 

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

 

 

By Wagon

All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick

The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

 

On Foot

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

 

Taxis, Buses, Planes, Boats, You Name It!

Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin

The Heart Between Us by Lindsey Harrel

 

Have you ever taken a journey of faith?

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday — Highly Anticipated Books!

1 May

This week’s TTT theme is Books I’d Slay A Lion to Get Early. Well . . . I am definitely a book fanatic fan, but not sure I would do bodily harm to anything to get my hands on a coveted book. That’s mainly because I still have a huge stack of unread books from the last list of highly anticipated reads. I have all intentions of reading them, but in the meantime I am content to hold and gaze adoringly at them. LOL! So I will just list ten of the most anticipated books of the next few months.

Make sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to find out what other bloggers are willing to risk mayhem to acquire.

10 Highly Anticipated Novels of June, July, and August 2018

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

The Captured Bride by Michelle Greip

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Minding The Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Patriot Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What books are you anticipating?

 

 

Book Review (+ Tour Giveaway): Phoebe’s Light

26 Feb

About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Impressions:

Fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s contemporary and historical Amish books are going to love the new direction this author is taking. Phoebe’s Light is an historical romance novel featuring the New England Island of Nantucket. I loved the setting, the creatively told dual story lines, and the characters that found a way into my imagination and heart.

Phoebe Starbuck, descendant of the hardy settlers of Nantucket Island, is a determined young woman — determined to turn her family’s fortunes around and determined to have her heart’s way. She has faith in God, but only as far as it goes along with her own plans and dreams. Matthew Macy left the Quaker fellowship years ago. He also left behind his belief in God’s goodness. Danger and secret betrayal are companions on the two’s journey. But so is God’s provision revealed in a forgotten journal from the past.

I loved the dual story lines Fisher weaves together. The main story is told in a straightforward third person style, but is supported through the journal entries of an early Nantucket settler, Mary “Great Mary” Coffin. Fisher deftly adds historical details and figures to create a fictional story that is believable and riveting. Her portrayal of colonial Nantucket and its whaling trade are spot on. She sprinkles the narrative and dialog with phrases from the day and industry that is long gone. But you won’t be lost, there is a great glossary included at the beginning of the book. I also learned a great deal about the Quakers as Fisher naturally includes their beliefs and practices within the novel. Characters are real and relatable with their struggles, doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The two main characters’ faith journey is realistically portrayed as well. The romance is sweet and satisfying, as is the epilogue that brings the reader closure on all the doings on the island. Fisher’s signature voice shines through. The only complaint I have is the use of a few modern phrases that jolted this reader from the story. But those were few and didn’t spoil the overall reading experience.

Phoebe’s Light is just the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series. It’s a great start, and I look forward to many more visits to Nantucket!

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Revel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 cup grated carrots (4 large)

1 apple, shredded

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15

A Simply Enchanted Life, February 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 15

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes, February 15

Girls in White Dresses Blog, February 16

With a Joyful Noise, February 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16

A Greater Yes, February 16

ASC Book Reviews, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Book by Book, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

The Power of Words, February 18

Two Points of Interest, February 18

Splashes of Joy, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Karen Sue Hadley, February 19

Blossoms and Blessings, February 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 20

All of a kind Mom, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 21

Baker Kella, February 21

Mommynificent, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Lighthouse Academy, February 22

Readers cozy corner, February 22

Mary Hake, February 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Have A Wonderful Day, February 23

Faery Tales Are Real, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

Carpe Diem, February 24

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, February 25

Red Headed Book Lady, February 25

Just the Write Escape, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

By The Book, February 26

For The Love of Books, February 26

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)

Maureen’s Musings, February 27

Connie’s History Classroom, February 27

proud to be an autism mom, February 27

Bigreadersite, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 28

Pursuing Stacie, February 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0

Top Ten Tuesday — Halloween Freebie aka Reformation Day Reading

31 Oct

The Top 10 Tuesday topic is in keeping with today’s date — Halloween! However, as a reader and reviewer of Christian Fiction, I struggled with coming up with another Halloween-themed list. In the past I have had Halloween Cozies and Spooky Christian Fiction. There just isn’t a lot of Halloween-inspired novels in CF. But . . . besides today being Halloween, it is also Reformation Day. So for this freebie, I give you my list of Top Reformation Books. My list includes historical fiction, one non-fiction book, and a book that is set beyond the Reformation dates, but whose subject is about a Protestant sect that made its way to America. To check out other bloggers’ lists, click HERE.

 

Top Reformation Day Reading

Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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.

The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks

In 1536 it seems the entire known world is changing–strange new lands are discovered and the Reformation is challenging Rome and its power. In England the king’s declaration of a new church and dissolution of the monasteries overturns the customs and authorities of centuries. In the new world order, spies abound and no one can be trusted.

To Brother Pacificus of the Abbey of St. Benet’s in Norfolk, it looks like his abbey alone will be spared dissolution. But this last Benedictine house is mired in murder and intrigue. Then when Pacificus falls under suspicion, more than his own dark past comes to light, while the body count keeps rising. Pacificus’s fate becomes entwined with that of three local children after their parents are arrested for treason and heresy. Protected only by this errant monk, a mysterious leper, and a Dutch eel-catcher, the children must quickly adjust; seeking their own identity, they soon find that neither parents nor protectors are quite what they seem.

Based on historical events, this post-medieval mystery is laced with romance, fueled by greed, and punctuated with bouts of feasting, smuggling, and jailbreak.

Loving Luther by Allison Pitman

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows―a choice more practical than pious ― but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

Luther And Katharina by Jody Hedlund

She was a nun of noble birth. He was a heretic, a reformer, and an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther. His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love. Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.
The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund

In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child and manshe’s come to love.

To Die For by Sandra Byrd

In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child and manshe’s come to love.

Tyndale by David Teems

It was an outlawed book, a text so dangerous “it could only be countered by the most vicious burnings, of books and men and women”. But what book could incite such violence and bloodshed? The year is 1526. It is the age of Henry VIII and his tragic Anne Boleyn, of Martin Luther and Thomas More. The times are treacherous. The Catholic Church controls almost every aspect of English life, including access to the very Word of God. And the church will do anything to keep it that way.

Enter William Tyndale, the gifted, courageous “heretic” who dared translate the Word of God into English. He worked in secret, in exile, in peril, always on the move. Neither England nor the English language would ever be the same again.

With thoughtful clarity and a reverence that comes through on every page, David Teems shares a story of intrigue and atrocity, betrayal and perseverance. This is how the Reformation officially reached English shores ― and what it cost the men who brought it there.

Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett

This richly imagined tale takes readers to a tiny German town in the time of “the burnings”, when pious and heretic alike became victims of witch-hunting zealots. When a double murder stirs up festering fears, the village priest sends for help. But the charismatic Inquisitor who answers the call brings a deadly mix of spiritual fervor and self-deceptive evil. Under his influence, village fear, guilt, and suspicion of women take a deadly turn. In the midst of this nightmare, a doubting priest and an unloved wife — a secret friend of the recently martyred William Tyndale — somehow manage to hear another Voice . . . and discover the power of love over fear.
 
Dinfoil, Germany, 1538. In a little town on the edge of the Black Forest, a double murder stirs up festering fears. A lonely woman despairs of pleasing her husband and wonders why other women shun her. An overworked sheriff struggles to hold the town — and himself — together. A priest begins to doubt the power of the words he shares daily with his flock. And the charismatic Inquisitor who arrives to help — with a filthy witch in a cage as an object lesson — brings his own mix of lofty ideals and treacherous evil. Under his influence, ordinary village fears and resentments take a deadly turn. Terror mounts. Dark deeds come to light. And men and women alike discover not only what they are capable of, but who they are…and what it means to grapple for grace.

 

 

If You Liked The Amish of Summer Grove Series . . .

31 Oct

The Amish of Summer Grove series by Cindy Woodsmall was a big hit with my book club. Whether you are a fan of Amish books or are new to the genre, I can recommend the following series. All are great!

The Sister’s of The Quilt series was Cindy Woodsmall‘s debut. As a book club we read it and were hooked on anything by Woodsmall. Here is the blurb from book 1, When The Heart Cries.

Despite being raised in a traditional Old Order Amish family, seventeen-year-old Hannah Lapp desires to break with custom, forgo baptism into the faith, and marry outside the cloistered community. She’s been in love with Mennonite Paul Waddell for three years, and before returning to college for his senior year, Paul asks Hannah to be his wife. Hannah accepts, aware that her marriage will change her relationship with her family forever.

On the evening of their engagement, tragedy strikes and in one unwelcome encounter, all that Hannah has known and believed is destroyed. As she finds herself entangled in questions that the Old Ways of her people cannot answer, Hannah faces the possibility of losing her place in her family, in her community– and in the heart of the man she loves.

 

Tricia Goyer writes in a variety of genres, but her Big Sky series is one of my favorites. It is unique in Amish fiction, because much of the series is set in an Amish community in Montana. Check out book 1, Beside Still Waters.

Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many Englisch influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes Amish contemporary and historical fiction. For something a bit different check out her Amish Beginnings series. The first book is Anna’s Crossing.

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.

 

What’s your favorite Amish series?

Book Review (+ Giveaway!): The Return

14 Aug

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: The Return

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Release date: Sept 1, 2017

Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

My Impressions:

The Return is the third installment in Suzanne Woods Fisher’s historical Amish Beginnings series. Set about twenty years after the small Amish church has settled in Pennsylvania, the novel features beloved characters from previous books and characters new to the series. The small church has become a small, but influential voice, but peace is not always easy to achieve. Fisher has done her homework, even to the smallest of details, to bring to life the early days of the Pennsylvania colony, highlighting the influx of European settlers and the Native Americans whose life is rapidly changing. If you like either (or both!) historical or Amish fiction, The Return is a good choice for you.

The Return, like many of Fisher’s novels, has an ensemble cast that tells the story from a community’s viewpoint. The predominate perspectives are Tessa Bauer, 16 year old daughter of Anna and Bairn, Betsy Zook, 17 year old daughter of settlers on the edge of the Pennsylvania wilderness, and a now grown up Felix Bauer, a farmer, widower, and father to twin 9 year old boys. I liked that the reader gets a well-formed view of unfolding events, as well as the community as a whole. There is a dark side to The Return as it explores the human heart behind the tragic circumstances inspired by real life events. However, Fisher’s trademark humor is added to lighten and soften the hard aspects of the narrative. I appreciated that — life often is a contrast between times of joy and grief. Fisher also examines both sides of the story — the brutality of the Indian raids and the equally brutal reprisals of settlers. As one of the characters notes: “Don’t we all have a darkness within?”

In contemporary Amish books, the emphasis on the separateness of the community often takes the form of no cars, no electricity, no overt contact with the English. But in 1760s Pennsylvania, everyone lives pretty much the same and in close contact with neighbors of all faiths. I liked that the emphasis on separateness for this Amish community was the commitment to live a life of peace with others and to resist the temptation to judge and exact vengeance. The community’s relationship with God is the focus, not the established rules of the church. The Return serves as a good lesson in the ideals of the Amish church and its reason to relocate to the New World.

Fisher always provides a good story, and The Return is no exception. I loved the depth of this novel and hope that there is another book soon to come. I just have to find out what happens in the infant community of Stoney Ridge!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter

August 1: A Baker’s Perspective

August 1: Remembrancy

August 2: Bigreadersite

August 2: lighthouse academy

August 2: Zerina Blossom’s Books

August 3: Genesis 5020

August 3: Book by Book

August 3: Blogging With Carol

August 4: Seasons of Opportunities

August 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

August 4: Carpe Diem

August 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

August 5: DEE’S QUILTS & BOOKS

August 5: Jeanette’s Thoughts

August 6: Artistic Nobody

August 6: Just the Write Escape

August 6: Locks, Hooks and Books

August 7: A Reader’s Brain

August 7: Pause for Tales

August 7: Splashes of Joy

August 8: Bibliophile Reviews

August 8: Christian Bookaholic

August 8: Live.Love.Read.

August 9: Blossoms and Blessings

August 9: Mary Hake

August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

August 10: For the Love of Books

August 10: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 10: A Simply Enchanted Life

August 11: The Power of Words

August 11: Karen Sue Hadley

August 11: Neverending Stories

August 12: Cafinated Reads

August 12: TinaTruelove

August 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 13: God’s Little Bookworm

August 13: Southern Gal Loves to Read

August 13: Connie’s History Classroom

August 14: Vicky Sluiter

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

  • An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
  • Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
  • The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

Top 10 Tuesday — The End of Summer TBR List

25 Jul

The past week has been crazy. My husband had a routine medical procedure that has proven anything but. A promised one day recuperation has stretched into a week. We are hoping and praying for the best, but the two weeks that are left before a return to the doctor seem more like a year away instead. All this to say that I would appreciate your prayers for my husband’s healing and patience for the both of us. 😉

Because of the stress and worry of the past few days, I am taking the easy way out this week and posting my TBR list for the rest of the Summer. Which books will you be reading?

 

End of Summer TBR List

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

Cardiac Event by Richard Mabry

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

 

What’s on your TBR List?