Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher - REVIEWED

About the Book:

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.

My Thoughts:

The same sun that hardens the clay melts the ice. “  (p. 103)

This sentence is the essence of a major turning point in Suzanne Wood Fisher’s final installment of her Amish Beginnings series, The Return. This novel is based on some of the harshest realities of frontier America.  It was, in fact hinged on the practice that Indians had of kidnapping a white settler and offering them as tribute for a lost member of their tribe.  In this instance, an Amish community, pacifist by teaching and choice are the target of an Indian raid that both kills and kidnaps members of their community.  The conflict that arises between members of their community and among members of the Indian tribe are both troubling and universal in scope.

I was hooked from the first pages. Fisher creates such well-developed characters that any reader is quick to welcome them to their heart.  This novel evoked a lot of emotion, both positive and negative, and kept me completely immersed in the story the entire novel.  There were characters I got frustrated with, characters I admired, and characters I grew to dislike intensely!  

The character, Betsy Zook, will not soon be forgotten!  She is the strongest, bravest young woman I’ve encountered in fiction for quite some time!  There are situations unique but common to any Amish novel that I expected to encounter, but the way Fisher handled Betsy’s faith coming so harshly up against the Indian’s faith was masterful!  It made me consider again how important and difficult it is to love others as Christ did.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!  I look forward to reading her next novel!

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 and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

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