Monday, August 7, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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About the Book

Book title: The Return
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

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 prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

My Thoughts:

In The Return, author Fisher’s third in her extraordinary series Amish Beginnings, we are once again reunited with Bairn and Anna and their family. Felix and Hans have both grown up as some years have passed, and Bairn is now the minister. This story focused on Anna and Bairn’s daughter, Tessa and newly arrived from Germany, Betsy.  We are treated to Anna’s and Felix’s voices as well as the story is told from their viewpoints.

As the story goes, we start with a bit of a tangled love mess. Tessa is in love with Hans and Hans is in love with Betsy. However, Betsy is taken captive during an Indian raid on her home and Hans has become a man driven by grief and determination to get her back. In the meantime, he and Tessa grow closer together.

We the reader are taken with Betsy on her journey through captivity and the author writes vividly the emotions and feelings that young Betsy is experiencing.  The ruthlessness of the massacre to the trading to an Indian family of sisters where she is made to feel at home and even loved. In her captivity Betsy meets Caleb, a half breed and a captive slave and forms a bond of friendship that changes her view of life.

This story vividly portrayed how different and how difficult it was for the Amish, Mennonite, other settlers, and the Indian tribes to get along. The difficulty to reconcile their differences and live in peace when they viewed religion, rights, and land so differently. This was a read full of angst, grit, and determination as these young ladies tried to live in a harsh and difficult world that many times went against their beliefs. I appreciated the author’s notes on how much of this story was true and again I stand amazed at all the pioneers and what they endured in the wilderness of America.

I received an e-copy of this book for free. I did purchase a paperback for my keeper shelf. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement
 and Technology Exchange Lab

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 6: Artistic Nobody
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an
amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14!
Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below: An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return The Amish Beginning 3 book set series One grand prize winner will receive: An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne's website:
or on her Facebook page

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