Book Review: Anna’s Crossing

6 Mar

723190When Anna König first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the Charming Nancy, their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naïve farmers–dubbed “Peculiars” by deckhands–across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna’s serene nature. For her part, Anna can’t seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship’s carpenter, despite warnings.

When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?

Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.

swf-headshot2Suzanne Woods Fisher’s interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they can provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles–simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily, trusting in God–into your life.

When Suzanne isn’t writing or playing tennis (badly!) or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies (so cute!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. Suzanne can be found on-line at:


My Impressions:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of my go-to authors when it comes to Amish fiction. Her latest book, Anna’s Crossing, combines the Amish genre with historical fiction and reveals the roots of the Amish in America. This book is a fascinating look into the hardships the Amish faced in their quest for freedom. Filled with interesting details of the Atlantic crossing and endearing characters, Anna’s Crossing is a must-read for fans of Amish fiction.

Anna does not want to leave her home among the quiet pastures and hills of Germany and embark on a difficult voyage to the New World. But with her talent for languages, her church agrees she must accompany the families who are wishing to settle in Penn’s Woods to find land they can own and freedom to worship as they wish. Onboard the Charming Nancy Anna must face hardship with faith and in the process share a message of hope to the ship’s carpenter, Bairn. The voyage is not easy and neither is living out a faith that demands forgiveness and peace with all men.

Anna’s Crossing is a well-researched account of an Atlantic crossing in 1737. The sounds, sights and smells (an important, but an ew inducing element) are experienced by the reader. Fisher does not include all the deprivations real passengers faced, but does include a great deal of historical facts in her Afterword. The characters are real and relatable. Told in the third person, the perspectives of three characters are shown — Bairn, the ship’s carpenter, Anna, a young woman of great faith, and Felix, an incorrigible boy of ten. Through their eyes, the reader gets a complete look at what it must have been like to travel into an unknown and fear-filled future. There is a strong faith message of trust in God’s love, provision and providence throughout the novel. The leader of Anna’s church states during one difficult experience that Nothing good or bad happens to us but what first passes through the Father’s hand (p. 133). I especially liked that the roots of the Amish in America are explored — the how and why of them coming to settle in a new land. There is also a tie-in with Fisher’s last Christmas novella, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm; a treat for her long-time fans.

So if you are a fan of Amish fiction and want to delve a bit deeper into the origins of their community in America, Anna’s Crossing is definitely for you.


Audience: older teens to adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE.


2 Responses to “Book Review: Anna’s Crossing”

  1. Jaina March 7, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    Hmm, it sounds interesting! I’m not a huge fan of the Amish romance subgenre, but I might just bite with an Amish historical romance. By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award here. No pressure if you don’t want to do it. 🙂

    • rbclibrary March 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks so much! I will definitely check it out. There is less Amish “rules” with this book, although they still did not want to conform with the world at large. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

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