MY NOVEL THOUGHTS:
The Newcomer is the sequel to Anna's Crossing, a book I did not read nor did I know existed until after I requested the book. (Now I know to do my research haha) The Newcomer takes place after the Bauer family is united after a long and trying time. After ten long months on the "Charming Nancy", the Bauer family and the Church is eager to start their new lives in the beautiful- unknown terrain in the Pennsylvania frontier. Waiting for the Church in Pennsylvania is Bishop Jacob Bauer, father to Barin Bauer, the ships carpenter. Now the Church and the Bauer family and the beginnings of romance between Bairn and Anna can flourish. But will this moment of contentedness last?
Bairn learns that being Amish isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially under his father's command. So, when a sea captain offers him escape to the ocean just one last time, Bairn jumps at the opportunity. Anna isn't happy about this arrangement.
"He can never change, she thought. Never."
When Henrik Newman joins the Church on its journey to the frontier, Anna becomes conflicted with her emotions. Henrik seems to be the perfect Amish man-everything that Bairn is not and also very happy to try and steal Anna's heart. But the nail in the coffin is that while Bairn is over seas, this Henrik fellow is here and Bairn is very noticeably not.
Which love will prevail after the turns of events and an unexpected secret is exposed. In this book you get to see through Anna's, Barin's, Henrik's and the Churches comings and goings and the dots that of events that connect them together.
Things I didn't like: My main problem with this book was that I felt it was unnecessarily dragged out and told very little. Points of views would change before you got a clear or better picture of what was happening and by the time it made it back to someone's point of view again the topic was a different one or not elaborated enough on. In some places this book felt rushed, especially the end which is funny because that was the best part. Now I know what your thinking, "but Dela the end is always the beat part", no, the end-it was the best part.
And to put water in the oil, the characters, they didn't have much personality. At first when the characters are reintroduced into this book they seem they might have the starting of a good characterization but then it would drop flat and then at the end of the book suddenly everyone has a sudden epiphany and goes through a complete personality change... Well as much change as you van in the last eight or so chapters.
I'd just like to say that I do not like any of the main characters. I mean Bairn gets on that ship and leaves Anna behind good and well knowing that his heart wasn't in it. Anna just bothers me. She was naive and couldn't think of anything important except to whine about Bairn and Henrik. Henrik is a character I can't stand. He was written in a way to be liked but I just couldn't deal. I don't want to give anything away but Henrik is such a sleez and I didn't like him at all in the beginning, middle or end.
"It was the old melancholy that was returning to him --- confusion and heaviness. Loneliness."
I was very disappointed with this book and I doubt had I read the first book in this series it would have changed my opinion on the second.
Things I liked: Although I was not a fan of this book I was a fan of Barin's mother and his brother. In fact I'm sure that's the only reason I kept reading through. Felix was a complete pain in the rear but he brought laughs and action in to this book and Barin's and Felix's mother let God change her for the better. I will say that all the events in this book did have a domino effect and did in fact tie up at the end.
MY OVERALL RATING:
This wasn't my favorite book but it wasn't horrendously written either. There were some laughs and head shaking and puzzling over things, just not enough. It makes me sad that I didn't like this book. I had a lot of hope for it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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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