Anna’s Crossing (Revell) by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an amazing new offering in the Historical Amish Romance genre. The author has meticulously studied the real 1737 crossing of a group of Amish settlers from Germany to Port Philadelphia on the Charming Nancy and writes a fictional tale with clear eyed, heartbreaking reality. Admittedly there are passages that are difficult to read but Suzanne keeps true to the historical times and does not sugar coat the story.
Anna’s Crossing tells the tale of Anna Konig, a pretty, young Amish girl with a kind and sweet personality, who is being sent to the New World by her grandparents. Anna hates the idea of leaving her grandparents behind but does her best to help the others on board the overcrowded, odorous lower deck of the Charming Nancy. Conditions decline daily on the ship but Anna keeps an optimistic outlook due to her faith in God.
The ship’s carpenter, Bairn, is captivated by Anna’s beauty and uplifting personality. Suzanne writes of their slowly entwining feelings. The ending of the book, will leave readers with goose bumps and tears in their eyes. Bravo, Suzanne, very well done!
Also entertaining is the story of Felix, an eight year old Amish boy also on board the Charming Nancy. Felix is like many eight year old boys who can’t stay still, especially while being confined in the lower deck of a ship. All Felix wants is to be hanging around the sailors and officers and exploring the top decks of the exciting ship. Bairn takes Felix under his wing to keep him safe while Felix runs around where he doesn’t belong.
This books is beautifully researched and written. It keeps true to the speech of the times but is not difficult to read. Suzanne Woods Fisher includes in her Author Notes several interesting tidbits of information regarding the actual sailing in 1737 of the Charming Nancy. Realizing that this was a real sailing makes the book all the more thought-provoking. Anna’s Crossing will be published March 3, 2015.