-The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Hey Readers, I have a new book for you to check out, The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an Amish Historical Fiction story set in ( and around) Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the year 1762. This story is unlike any Amish fiction that I have ever read before. I recommend this book if you:
- Have read any of Suzanne Woods Fisher's books,
- Have read the first two books in the Amish Beginnings series
- Like to read Amish Historical Fiction with a twist,
- Want to read a heartwarming story of acceptance and trying to find peace in the midst of chaos,
- Want to read a interesting story of a girl's survival after being kidnapped by Indians.
- Want to read a deeply layered novel that was inspired by true events during the tumultuous days of the prerevolutionary Pennsylvania.
Well, Here is the story:
The Return is the story of Betsy Zook, A beautiful Amish girl who never has questioned her family's lifestyle or the love of her intended, Hans Bauer. That is she didn't until that fateful night the Indians attacked her family and their neighbors. Taken captive after witnessing the horrible deaths of her parents and fearing for her siblings, Betsy only has her faith and the knowledge that one of her brothers also survived to keep her going. After Betsy endures the horrible and brutal walk to her fate, She finds that they took her and the other captives to replace family and friends who were killed by "white men". As she settles into her new life, she starts to get into the rhythm of Indian life and realizes how strict her life was before. Not in a bad way, just different, Indian life was a bit more laid back and she was blessed to be treated as one of them and not as a servant or a slave.
Meanwhile back in Lancaster County...
Tessa Bauer has been in love with Hans since forever so she was horribly disappointed when he only seemed to pay attention to Betsy Zook. But now that she heard the news that Betsy was taken during a Indian attack, she feels like maybe now he will notice her. No, she is not that mean to be happy about the situation that Betsy was in but she did get a glimmer of hope that now Hans will see that he was meant to be with her. The only issue is that Hans seems to have completely put his focus on finding Betsy and taking revenge on all Indians as retribution. Unfortunately Tessa can see that his need for revenge was literally eating him alive, But she figures if she comforts him, eventually he will see how much she cares for him and stop focusing on it so much. Finally she finds something they both have in common. They both want to see this mysterious black stallion that has been wondering around their farm. As they work together trying to get the Stallion to trust them, Tessa senses that Hans is finally accepting and noticing her. As their relationship starts to build, Tessa begins to wonder if Hans would finally ask to marry her or if she would always be cast in Betsy's shadow.
Back at the Indian Village...
Betsy has become fully immersed in the Indian way of life and though it was not a hard life , she missed her family dreadfully and she missed living the way she was brought up. A Indian man about her age named Askuwheteau ( or Caleb, You will have to read the story to see why an Indian would have a Amish/Christian name) tries to help her to see the joy and peace of Indian life but when he sees that she is still troubled, He plans an escape to first take her to her brother and then back to her people.
If Betsy ever makes it back to her Amish friends, back to the world she came from... Will it be the same as it was before or will she find that she no longer belongs in that world?
And if she makes it back, Will Hans and Tessa have taken their relationship too far or will she make it back in time to get back to the relationship with Hans that she once had?
So what did I think?
So this is book three of the Amish Beginnings series and even though I did read the previous book in the series, I would say that it could also be read as a standalone. Though it did have some violence ( Nothing horribly graphic, but there was mention of blood shed - especially when describing the Indian attack) the story is so intriguing that it grabs you at the beginning and does not let go until the very end. The characters are well thought out and the story is very well written. Like I mentioned before, this was not like any Amish book I have ever read before and I really enjoyed reading it. My only issue was that the ending did not seem to be complete ( probably so she could write another book for the series ) Overall it is a great book with a intriguing plot ( slight bit of violence) I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 stars ****
If you want to check out this series or any of Suzanne's other books, Here is the link:
Happy Reading :)
I would like to thank Revell , A division of Baker Publishing Group for allowing me to review this book in exchange for a free copy, I was not required to write a favorable review, just an honest one.