cover image The Return

The Return

Suzanne Woods Fisher. Revell, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-8007-2750-5

Two women grapple with their faith and loyalty to their community in this expansive novel set in 1763 Pennsylvania. Tessa Bauer and the Amish community of Lancaster, Penn., are shocked when Iroquois raid the community and kidnap Betsy Zook. But there is an unexpected development for Tessa: a closer friendship with Hans, Betsy’s beau. The strong faith of both characters is tested as they adjust to their new lives. The novel is presented as Betsy and Tessa’s story, but readers will have to frequently remind themselves of the original narrative; Fisher has a big cast of characters, which divides the focus, and the pacing drags at the beginning, weighed down by frequent point-of-view changes and short scenes. The plot picks up at the end, but the story feels incomplete; surely a sequel is to follow. Fisher (The Choice) paints a solid picture of daily life of the time, but the Amish aspect never rises above nondescript religious devotion. Readers who enjoy Fisher’s previous books will find this a suitable installment of her Amish Beginnings series. [em](Aug.) [/em]