In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It's a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn's shipboard romance to blossom.
But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World--isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father--his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?
When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not--bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.
Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?
~ My Rating
~ My Review
Eeps! What a lovely story of an Amish community in 1730s America! The romance was sweet, the descriptions poetic, and the mystery well-done. I am definitely enjoying the Amish Beginnings series. :D
**Minor spoilers to follow, particularly for those who haven't read book one, Anna's Crossing.**
Felix and Bairn were probably my favorites in this book. Bairn's journey to discovering who he is and what really matters to him was sweetly told and realistic. Felix can be a bit of a menace at times (okay, most of the time ;)), but he's cute and boyish. I really loved seeing the brothers' relationship grow and strengthen in this book!
The whole storyline of the newcomer made me fume, gag, and shake my head in utter confusion. I can't say much without giving it all away, but let's just say, if you're planning to read this book, you're in for quite the ride. ;) And Jacob and Dorothea and all THAT... just, ahhh!! xD
I became a bit annoyed for some things Anna did (or didn't do) towards the end, and ended up knocking of a star for that reason. I mean, I understand that she had been betrayed. But he wasn't the one who betrayed her! **spoilers ahead** I didn't feel like she was treating Bairn right in those chapters, and not being very understanding. But it turned out well, so I'm happy. :) **end of spoiler**
Another thing that bothered me was the Ephrata Community/Cloister and their ways. Some things they believed sounded cult-like to me. Although their practices weren't shown as right, the ones I disagreed with weren't exactly shown as wrong either.
All in all, a good book and a satisfying read. I will definitely be reading book three, The Return, come summer! :D
**I received a free copy of this book from the Revell Reads program in exchange for my honest review.**