Friday, February 17, 2017
The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher
So why did I pick an Amish novel? I have a pretty firm stance against reading them, or I thought I did, until in the weakness of the moment, I requested this one.
And how to describe the book? I guess I will give my viewpoint in two different ways. As far as writing, Suzanne did a fine job. The story was interesting and while it hopped around a lot from person to person, she was good at keeping things flowing, so you could always follow along. In some ways, I like when books do that so you can keep up with what is going on in everyone's life without the waiting and wondering.
The setting is the 1730's, Amish coming over from Germany to settle the New World. I don't know how pioneer people lived at all back then, so that part I'm not going to critique. I imagine life to be immeasurably hard and fraught with trials both with claiming land and taming land.
On the second side of it, it just didn't seem very accurate to the Amish lifestyle I am familiar with. For one, the cover, Amish as a whole do not like their picture taken. Now, I realize today, some of that may be changing with certain groups, but for sure the early Amish, would not have appreciated a book cover like that. The bishop was a strong, determined man--that part definitely had its accurate elements, I would say. But the newcomer coming in and taking over? I again would say that Amish would tend to be slow to accept new people, but then again in a frontier like they were living in, maybe someone with direction and guidance was what they needed.
I don't know, I know Amish fiction is extremely popular, I just find it to be a little unrealistic to the real Amish culture. That aside though, Suzanne does have an interesting style of writing and her story can keep you reading through to the very end.
I received this book from Revell Publishing and am not required to give a positive review.
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