Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Newcomer: An Amish Beginnings Novel

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second book in An Amish Beginnings Novel series.  The Charming Nancy has arrived at Port Philadelphia on October 15, 1737.  The group is happy to arrive after ten long weeks at sea.  Jacob Bauer, the bishop and founder of their new settlement, is there to meet them.  Jacob and his wife, Dorothea are happy to reunite with his long, lost son Bairn, the ship’s carpenter.  Jacob’s land is the farthest he could purchase under British rule with his land warrants (and you have to get through the Indians first).  Jacob wants to make sure that they are truly separate from others who do not share their Amish beliefs.  Jacob gets tired of waiting for the group to be able to depart for their new home and sets out ahead with Dorothea.  The men on the ship cannot travel until they swear allegiance to the British crown.  This is problematic for these religious men.  Bairn finds a way to help the men, but he starts having doubts about becoming a farmer after marrying Anna Konig.  Bairn is offered an opportunity as first mate on a ship, and he jumps at it.  One final journey and then he will settle down with Anna (he assures her).  But is Anna willing to wait for Bairn?  Will Bairn ever be happy away from the sea?  Henrik Newman arrives in Port Philadelphia and wishes to join the group on their journey to their new settlement.  Henrik is charming and outgoing (opposite of Bairn). He becomes indispensable to the group.  Will Henrik also win Anna’s affections while Bairn is away?  The Amish’s journey to their new settlement will not be easy nor will Bairn’s on the ship especially after he finds a stowaway.  To see how they fare, start reading The Newcomer

The Newcomer is a different take on an Amish novel.  We are taken back in time to when the Amish first came to America (to have religious freedom).  In Anna’s Crossing (the first book in An Amish Beginnings Novel series) we experience their trip on the Charming Nancy.  In The Newcomer we get to see how different life is in America for this group.  The Newcomer is well-written and has good characters.  My favorite character is Felix.  I like his curious nature (he is also entertaining).  I appreciated Ms. Woods writing style.  I also liked the time-period and felt that Suzanne Woods Fisher did a very good job at capturing it.  I was especially entertained with her addition of Benjamin Franklin.  I give The Newcomer 4 out of 5 stars.  I did feel, though, that the pace of the book was a little slow in a couple of sections and there is a little predictability (regarding Henrik, Felix—the little rascal, and the romance between Anna and Bairn).  The Newcomer can be read alone.  The author summarizes what occurred in Anna’s Crossing (I do recommend reading it, though, because it is such a lovely novel).  I look forward to reading The Return (the conclusion to the series) when it releases on August 1.

I hope you had a good day and that you have an even better night.  I am currently reading An Amish Home (four novellas) by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Ruth Reid.  I will see you tomorrow when I review another new novel.    Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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