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The Return ~ Review

The Return
An Amish Beginnings Novel #3
By Suzanne Fisher Woods

The Return continues the story of the early days of Stoney Ridge and this chapter is set, for the majority of the story, in 1763. For those who enjoyed the story of Anna Konig and Bairn Bauer and the journey that brought them together aboard the Charming Nancy and to the New World, this is the third book in their story. Time has passed and not only have they married, they have a daughter Tessa, who is on the threshold of womanhood and all the anguish that that entails. Tessa Bauer has a decided personality that once set on a particular path is hard to detour to a better one. Fortunately or not she speaks her mind and often to the dismay of her mother and those around her

Tessa Bauer has long sought the attentions of Hams Johann Bauer to no avail. Hans' heart has been captured by Betsy Zook, a new arrival to the New World and Pennsylvania. Tessa has an admirer whom as a child offended her and unfortunately for him, Tessa's good opinion (much like Mr. Darcy's) once lost is likely to be forever lost. But Martin Gingerich is not easily dissuaded to Tessa's annoyance.

But when an Indian raid occurs, many who lived outside of the Stoney Ridge settlement are slaughtered or captured. And Betsy Zook is among those who are taken. Those of Stoney Ridge are shocked and saddened by the news and to Hans disgust are unwilling to take action against those who perpetrated this savage attack.

The Return is a story told from two vastly different viewpoint - that of those in Stoney Ridge (particularly Tessa) and that of Betsy as she lives among a people who are much more than savages. But hatred is a two edged sword that thrusts both ways with tragic consequences often for those who are innocent. This was a world in turmoil as the old and new tried to establish a balance and protect what they believed was theirs.

I really believe that this series Amish Beginnings is one that anyone who has a love of historical fiction would enjoy (even someone who is not into Amish fiction). There is a depth to this story that will make one stop and think. Hate and the thirst for vengeance is examined along with its tragic and costly ending - a timely book no matter what year it is.

Of note - if you have not read the previous books in the series that is not a problem as one can quite easily read this book on its own without the backstory. Either way, this is an excellent book that should not be missed.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
In a wild country, the true 
cost of love may be 
more than they can bear

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 she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances. 

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of pre-revolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

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~ Blooming with Books