My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing!
When Anna Konig first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the "Charming Nancy," their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naive farmers--dubbed "Peculiars" by deckhands--across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature. For her part, Anna can't seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship's carpenter, despite warnings.
When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?
Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.
Love, love, love this book! It's one of those ones you start without much expectation and by the end you are blown away. The setting is vividly depicted without overdrawn descriptions, the characters are just as vivid. There is a feeling of anticipation throughout the novel being on such a harrowing journey with a people used to being discriminated against. Anna is a heroine to admire for sure, humble and yet with an assertive personality. Her compassion for others, even those who persecute her, is something that especially catches Bairn's notice as they begin to interact with each other. Bairn is strong and intelligent, but the misfortune of his past torments him in the quiet hours. His secrets are slowly revealed to the readers as events and circumstances on the ship draw him closer to the God he believes abandoned him. The stories of the characters weave together and the end is so satisfying that I spent the next few days pondering all that I had read. Highly recommend, especially to fans of Amish fiction.
(Thank you to Revell Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)