Inspired by Actual Events! "I would do a great many things for you." Even at sixteen, Jake's handsome features hold the calm certainty and patient confidence of a man, and Rachel Bender knows--Jake Weaver is the one.
Rachel will grow into a strong young woman with powerful gifts—but in a faraway country, without her Jake. In 1921, Ohio's new law forces Caleb Bender's family to seek sanctuary in the wilds of Mexico where the government will not interfere with their Amish way of life, or take their children from them. Nor will it protect them from the bandits terrorizing the countryside.
In an unfamiliar land where no one speaks their language or knows their ways, the Benders establish a homestead in exile. Sisters Emma, Rachel, and Miriam find strengths unimagined, gifts unexpected, and yearning beyond their deepest dreams. Even steadfast Caleb is compelled to wrestle with the demands of faith, only to discover that love has its own demands. Paradise Valley—a tale of love, danger, and redeeming faith.
"If you like Amish fiction, you'll love this book"
--Beverly Lewis, New York Times bestselling author
"Dale Cramer ... has written his most adventurous story yet in Paradise Valley.... Cramer is at his most warm hearted and compassionate as he relates this story of a family in a strange new world. He manages to make each character spring to life, each with his or her unique personality traits; but it is with Rachel that he excels the most. He looks inside this young girl's heart and relates her feelings and emotions with clarity and assurance.
"This first novel in the trilogy is a setting up for what is yet to come, but readers will find it complete in its story. It doesn't feel or read like a preparation novel at all. The story is so intense and the adventure so compelling that readers will race through the book and then begrudge the ending coming so quickly.
"Paradise Valley is Dale Cramer at his best. Read this first novel and then anticipate the rest of the story. If the next two books equal this first one it will be an amazing series indeed." --Jackie K. Cooper, The Huffington Post "Cramer follows his acclaimed novel Levi's Will (2005) with another inspiring and honest look at the Amish community in the opening volume in The Daughters of Caleb Bender trilogy. In 1920s Ohio, Amish fathers are taken to court and imprisoned when they refuse to allow their children to attend public school. Matters escalate when the Amish children are removed from their parents' homes, stripped of their plain appearance, and forced to live in the children's home while they attend public school. This incident inspires Caleb Bender to move his entire family to Mexico. Faced with rebuilding a homestead while battling bandits, Cramer's characters dig deep to find the forgiveness and strength it takes to truly love one's enemies. Cramer's ability to develop characters with genuine struggles sets this Amish novel apart from the rest, especially because it's based on Cramer's great-grandfather's experiences as an elder statesman of the colony Paradise Valley, Mexico. Fans of historical fiction will find enough here to spur further research, and for followers of Amish fiction this is a must-read." --Elizabeth Ponder, Booklist
"Paradise Valley was on my list of most anticipated reads for 2011 and it did not disappoint. It fully lived up to my expectation to be a good book, and I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I loved it. I can't wait for the next book in the series...to continue exploring the ideas introduced in this one and to see what these characters I have grown to love will face next." --MyFriendAmysBlog.com
"Dale Cramer's Paradise Valley (Bethany House) is set in 1920s Ohio, when a new law mandates that children from age 6 through age 18 attend school. Five Amish fathers refuse to comply: Police arrest the fathers and take the children from their homes until the fathers promise to obey the law. Instead of obeying, Caleb Bender moves his family to Paradise Valley in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. They struggle to build a new farm, ward off bandits from the remains of Pancho Villa's army, and reconcile their faith with the customs of a new land. Using historical events as a base, Cramer has written an engaging story of love and conviction." --Susan Olasky, World Magazine
I really enjoyed this book. It was different from all the other Amish Fiction I have read before. In this book an Amish family decides to move to Mexico to be free from sending their children to public school. This book's subject is dated back in the 1920's before the Amish had the freedom to educate their children on their own. This was quite a different setting for an Amish family as we see how they deal the obstacles of bandits and the very poor. I would recommend this book to everyone.
I received this book free from Bethany House for this review.