Title: The Return
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Series: Amish Beginnings
Major Themes: Amish, French and Indian War, Pennsylvania, Pioneers
Synopsis: Tessa Bauer and Betsy Zook are both in love with Hans Bauer—but what happens when Betsy is captured by the Indians in Lancaster County in 1763?
For the record: I am not a fan of Amish fiction. I rarely read a book in that genre, because the ones I have read have mostly irritated me. However, I recently read a review of The Return which quite intrigued me and made me want to read it, so when I noticed it on NetGalley, available in hopes of getting a review, I requested it. Even so, I probably wouldn’t have read it very soon, but a few days later found myself in hospital with nothing to occupy myself with except reading. I decided to give The Return a try and see if it was as annoying as most other Amish fiction I’ve tried. To my surprise and delight, it was not! I truly enjoyed this book.
I liked the way the author portrayed the early Amish settlers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as real people. They were far from perfect, struggling with the same human tendencies we all battle. As a reader, I felt the fear people in that place at that time felt, at the close of the French and Indian War, as the Indians fought for the land they saw slipping away from them. At the same time, I really appreciated the way the Indians were also portrayed as real people, very loving and kind in most instances. I also appreciated the fact that, although there were at least three romance stories woven together in the story there was no kissing, apart from a quick peck on the cheek or top of the head twice.
One thing I really appreciated about the book was that the people spoke normally. My biggest gripe with most Amish fiction is the constant use of Dutchy words. There was none of that in this book. I also enjoyed some of the wording. I found myself laughing out loud at times, prompting my daughter who was keeping me company in hospital to ask what was so funny. One of my favorites was when the smithy saw someone bringing a horse to him—her meanest, ugliest pony, the one that was known for biting and kicking. “It was missing a shoe on its back leg. Its kicking leg.” I also appreciated the sentence, “The boys could run to the henhouse and fetch some eggs, hopefully fresh.” I could relate quite well to the sentiment in that last phrase!
If you want a light read, or are a fan of Amish stories, give this one a try. You may find a winner, as I did! In fact, I may be interested in reading more of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books, if this is a fair representation of her writing. It sure made a hospital stay more enjoyable for me, anyway!
I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley, and chose to write a review.
WARNING: A number of times, violence is described. Sometimes it is the Indians massacring the white settlers, and twice the settlers killed a number of Indians in horrible ways.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults