By Suzanne Woods Fisher
Some endings are really beginnings . . .
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.
Anna does not want to leave Rotterdam and sail to America, but she was given no choice. She was the only English speaker in her Amish community and needed as an interpreter. It’s not going to be a pleasant journey for the Amish crowded into too small quarters with a Mennonite group also making the crossing.
The merchant ships carrying passengers to the New World in 1737 were far from desirable as far as accommodations, provisions, storms, illness and you name it. And, yes, a person can be lonely in the midst of a crowd. Anna dispels some of that loneliness as she gets to know the ship’s carpenter. He, too, along with the rest of the crew resents the Peculiars on board.
This book has secrets, a rowdy little boy, sadness, joy, birth, death and beauty. I was able to guess one of the big secrets before it was revealed, but that did nothing to mar my enjoyment of the book.
Suzanne Woods Fisher always holds my interest. I’m looking forward to more Amish Beginnings novels. This is such an enjoyable way to soak up more history. Thank you, Ms Woods Fisher.
***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.