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

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About the Book

The Return-Book CoverBook 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 Perspective

I have loved every installment of the Amish Beginnings series and have been impatiently waiting for The Return to release. I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again, how wonderful that Suzanne Woods Fisher has combined my love for Amish fiction and historical fiction. Not only combined them, but wove the genres together like a perfectly sewn blanket. I wonder if perhaps more Amish fiction writers may decide to go in this direction because it appears to be gaining in popularity.

Here’s the thing about this book. It has parts that will make you weep; parts that will make you laugh; parts that will make you gasp; and even parts that will make you mad. It is quite clear that the author took her time in researching this time period, and way the Indians and English interacted with each other, and even some of the legends from this time period. I really felt as if I had climbed aboard a time machine and woke up in the 1700’s. It was certainly scary, and I found myself thankful to be living here and now.

Although the book blurb points to Betsy’s story, I really felt it was a story about Tessa. She had a lot of growing up to do, and her love for Hans seemed to affect her more than I would have liked. However, I can certainly understand how a young woman can be overcome with emotion for a boy that does not return the feelings. I would have liked to see more discussion about her friendship with Martin. Perhaps that is for another installment.

Betsy’s story however, really captured my heart. Although facing a scary situation, and not knowing if she would live or die, Betsy seemed so brave and determined to make it. There is one scene in particular that gave me goosebumps. I won’t give away any spoilers, except to say that she was being mocked by an Indian who was holding something quite grotesque in his hand. I’m glad there wasn’t great detail provided about it, but at that very moment I didn’t just see Betsy’s pain. I saw something change in her character and it was so intriguing that I kept turning the pages to see how she’d make out.

There is an underlying love story here that doesn’t get confirmation until near the end. But if you look for clues you will probably discover it about half way through. I am glad that Suzanne chose to include this in the story. It was something different, something a little unexpected, and something that left possibilities for the future. I do hope to see something happen for this couple in the next installment!

Overall this is a wonderful read that will appease historic and amish fiction fans. I felt right at home reading about these characters and their surroundings. Now if only there wasn’t so much time in between book releases 😉 I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoods (1)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.

ThreeSistersGarden2According 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.

ThreeSistersGardenHave 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
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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 (

5 thoughts on “The Return Review, Guest Post by Suzanne Woods Fisher, and a Giveaway!

  1. What can I say – awesome author, another amazing book. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Return! Thanks for the review. 🙂

  2. Jessica!!!!! What a wonderful, thoughtful, well-written review! Loved so many points you brought out–in fact, I had the same feeling about Tessa/Betsy (who was the real main character!). Started with Tessa…and then Betsy kind of took over, in her winsome way! My editor had the cover photo re-done to include Betsy over Tessa (which was a good plan, I think). But Tessa grew so much in this story. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Jessica. Loved, loved, loved your review. Warmly, Suzanne

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