25 Book Reviews

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Suzanne Woods Fisher Writes Another Winning Novel!

           "Anna's Crossing"
    By Suzanne Woods Fisher

The feeling of excitement filled me as I looked in the mailbox and saw a small parcel awaiting me! I knew it was a book, likely a VERY good book!! However, when I saw who the author was, I was a bit apprehensive. As I have loved every other book, Suzanne has written, you may wonder why I had this strange feeling. I had heard about this novel. It was not her typical Amish story, it was a historical fiction, involving the Amish. There was a bit of worry that plagued me. Historical fiction is my least favorite genre. Would I be able to give this wonderful author a good review? I must say, I needn't have worried a bit!! This book is a unique creation that kept me spellbound! A totally different twist than I expected!!

It is a hot day in 1737. In Rotterdam, Anna Konig first sets foot, hesitantly , on the "Charming Nancy", a merchant ship on which she and her fellow Amish believers will live until they reach the shores of America, to start a new, improved life. As the only one in the community who can speak English, she feels that she has to go with them, even though she has serious misgivings about the outcome.  This strong willed, quiet, young woman decides she will go along to help them and then return home to Rotterdam, if she survives. Anna has heard the horrific tales of ocean crossings and what can be waiting for them in the New World. But Anna has never let fear rule her life and won't start now. 

The ship's carpenter, Bairn, has no liking for these somber people, dubbed "Peculiars" by the other deckhands. These quiet, faithful Amish fill the lower deck of the ship. Bairn wishes to have no dealings with them. He has enough to handle, attempting to forget his lonely past. This becomes a difficult task with the attractive, irksome Anna and her people intruding on him.

The trip is one filled with delays , storms, illness and hunger, testing the patience of all who are onboard. Anna becomes involved in a life threatening situation. Discoveries are made that shake Bairn to his inner core. Can the faith in God take over and heal all the hearts and trials of these caring people?? Will they allow Him to guide their path??

The characters in this book, appealed to me in a deep way that I have not experienced for a while. I felt that I was aboard the ship along with them. Suzanne Woods Fisher has a unique talent of developing her characters in such a realistic, detailed fashion,  that you form a very deep relationship with them. I felt every hurt, trial and challenge. Anna became my best friend for whom I wanted to snap my fingers and make all the horrific situations disappear!  Bairn was a tough man, however, gentle and caring when he reached deep within himself. I fell in love with his devotion to Anna and her people. He touched my inner core with his handling of tough situations, regardless of the past  that had formed a hard shell around his soul. 

The plot was one that engaged me from the first chapter. As I had stated, historical fiction is not a favorite genre of mine. But, Suzanne won me over very quickly. The story moves quickly with unexpected twists and turns at every corner. The tragedies that occurred were described in such detail that I had to remind myself that this was a fictional story! My  emotions were on a strange roller coaster ride. I was at the height of delight at every small success, then would plunge to despair, at the next upsetting, often life threatening event. 

The theme of forgiveness and  God's faithfulness shines throughout this book. Suzanne uses historical facts to give her story depth. This is a book for lovers of Amish fiction as well as those who prefer historical fiction. It is a five star book that I would highly recommend to all readers!! I can hardly wait for the next new book by this talented author!

About the author: 

In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results. 

Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she went on to sign contracts with Revell Books for twenty plus books. 

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two. 

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com
This book was provided by Revell books, a division of Baker Publishing, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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