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 when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.
Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?
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.
That moment when you are reading a book but you can’t read fast enough (an it’s way past bedtime so you are fighting burn-y eyes as well) but at the same time you need the book to last forever. I just survived that moment and am trying to decide how to convince Goodreads and Amazon to make a 5+ stars rating option. Perhaps I’m getting too ahead of myself, or yourself as the case may be. ‘The Return’ came up for tour with CelebrateLit and I KNEW I had to read it. I’ve yet to meet a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher that I didn’t adore. The problem? You know there’s always a problem. I’d not read the first two books in the series. The almighty Ma to the rescue with a couple of well placed library books, and the reminder that I had the first book ‘Anna’s Crossing’ in my Kindle library. You don’t have to read the first two books in this series to appreciate this story, it could be read as standalone. I don’t recommend it since the series is amazing, but well ya know.
Anna and Bairn and even Felix are all grown up with families of their own now. There’s another family, the Zook’s, who don’t live nearby but play heavily into this story. Hans, remember the adopted child of Dorothea and Jacob, has fallen in love with their daughter Betsy and makes regular trips to visit them. However, the natives of the area massacre the family, steal two of their children (including Betsy) while one escapes unknown to the others and ends up with Bairn and Anna at their home. Fisher does this amazing job of telling multiple stories within the timeline at different locations that blend so seamlessly and perfectly and ‘right’. Betsy’s story of her capture. Tessa (Bairn and Anna’s daughter) and her life and unrequited love for Hans. Felix and his intellectual laziness. (It has to be true since Catrina said it right?) Even some stories from ‘Anna’s Crossing’ that come full circle.
This cannot be the end of the series. It can’t. I need to know what happens with Caleb (read the book already – I can’t give everything away!). I need to know what Betsy decides for her future. What about the boys as they grow up? ‘The Return’ brings the story of this small church from Germany by ship to the new world and the next generation. But it’s not over yet, I refuse to believe it’s over yet.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
About Suzanne Woods Fisher
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.
Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.
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