Sunday, December 26, 2010

Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

Paradise ValleyParadise Valley by Dale Cramer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in the 1920's, Caleb Bender and four of his Amish brothers face the challenges of raising their children in an American Amish society. They are incredibly misunderstood and because of that and the Bing Act, Caleb and his neighboring brothers spend five nights in jail for not sending their children to public school. During their imprisonment, these children are also ripped from their homes and everything they know and love and are sent to foster homes. The men decide to comply with the Bing Act and are subsequently released. Caleb isn't about to have that so when he spots an opportunity to buy land in Mexico for $10 an acre, he jumps on the chance. Leaving behind all his neighbors and some family, he moves his family from  the demanding clutches of an Ohio government to Mexico where he has to start from scratch. Along the way, his faith is challenged in ways he would have never imagined. Would it have been better to stay in Ohio?

It's been awhile since I've read any Amish fiction but as always, I find it enjoyable. The Amish ways intrigue me more so than most other religions. They are such simple people, yet in my mind, so complicated. I know that I could never live the way of the Amish today knowing what I know of modern conveniences.

The one thing that struck out at me the most from this delightful read is the use of various languages. This was like a mini-language course in some respects. The book is written in English but has phrases in High German, Dutch, Spanish, and Nahuatl. I appreciate the author's research and use of the various words from this time.

*************SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT!!!!************************

I eagerly await the next book in this series (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) and suspect that it will focus on Rachel and the surprise she receives at the end of this book!

This book is available for purchase on Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) Amazon as well as other fine bookstores!

Many thanks to Bethany House for providing this copy for review!

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