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Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
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Paradise Valley (edition 2011)

by Dale Cramer

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2381848,487 (4.1)2
Member:mookiekat
Title:Paradise Valley
Authors:Dale Cramer
Info:Bethany House (2011), Paperback, 359 pages
Collections:Your library
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Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) by Dale Cramer (Author)

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I downloaded this for free so wasn't sure how good it would be but it exceeded my expectations.

Based on a true story it tells about the Bender family who are Amish and fall foul of the law requiring children to be sent to school. Initially the fathers are sent to jail but when the children are taken away something drastic needs to be done.

The answer seems to lie in Mexico, a long way from their Ohio home and the book follows them as they try to build a new life.

A very easy read which is also informative historically and makes you wonder how far literally and metaphorically would you go to follow your faith? ( )
  Northern_Light | Dec 20, 2016 |
It is my second Amish book I read. The first one was James A. Michener's "The Novel". Before as well as after that, I was always interest in the Amish lifestyle, their recipes, quilts, etc. and watched just about all the movies made about the Amish culture. I have treasured this book for a long time, waiting for the opportunity to read it. It was a beautiful, heartwarming, amazing experience. I loved every minute of it.

Their way of life always reminded me of how my grandparents lived before electricity and motor vehicles graced their lives. It is a kind of walk down memory lane, and although it is in a different country, the background and religion was the same.

Lots to ponder in the book. Here is a few quotes I would like to remember:

"My dat says a prideful man thinks everyone is vain, and a deceiver thinks everyone is a liar."

“Would we try to rule as the greedy do?” he asked. “Will we try to grab power over other people’s possessions? What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?"

"Just remember when you choose a girlfriend, don’t choose so much the girl. Choose the friend."

"Dat says a man who is strong in his heart is gentle in his hands.”

"There was a kind of comfort in knowing that someone else was in control so long as it was someone faithful, someone who cared for his wife as Gott cared for His children.

"Someone strong enough to be gentle with his wife. Someone who not only would allow his wife to be everything Gott intended her to be, but wanted it so. She had seen the other kind too, in the downcast eyes of women whose husbands ruled with an iron hand that squeezed the dreams out of them. If the right man could complete a woman, the wrong one could crush her."

"There was nothing worth doing in this world that could not be accomplished with common sense, hard work, and the help of a strong family."

It will not be the last one I read. This made my day special indeed. ( )
  Margitte123 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This book caught my attention because the story is not set in Lancaster County, PA, as much of the Amish fiction is. It starts out in Michigan and ends up in Mexico, where the Amish have the freedom to have their own school. I was wondering how Dale Cramer could so well about girls, but he credits it to his wife. I'm looking forward to reading more about Rachel, Miriam and the whole Bender family. ( )
  eliorajoy | Jan 11, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm a fan of Amish fiction, particularly historical Amish fiction, so I was anxious to read this book. This was the first book by Dale Cramer that I had read, so I wasn't sure what to expect from him as a writer. I enjoyed the story, it was interesting to read a novel like this from a male author. I found the story to be good, but there were times that I felt the pace could have been picked up. Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I may read the sequels, but I won't put any other books aside to read them.
  GamecockGirl | Oct 3, 2011 |
NCLA Review -What can you do if you’re Amish and being forced to send your children to “English” school, where you are certain they will eventually be influenced to turn from Amish ways? In an Amish settlement in Ohio in the 1920s the author’s great-great-grandfather faced this agonizing question. Cramer’s personal familiarity with and respect for the Amish permeates this splendidly written novel which addresses his grandfather’s dilemma. The characters are fully formed and though their spiritual struggles (to return good for evil, for example) are set against the backdrop of a foreign land and customs, any serious Christian will relate to them. I found the details of a devout Amish family living out their faith inspiring as well as entertaining. I reluctantly closed the book feeling like I had just finished a most satisfying feast. This is the first of a series but stands alone quite nicely. Rating: 4 —DKW ( )
  ncla | Oct 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764208381, Paperback)

An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the children's home.

Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.

Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

Once there, they meet Domingo, a young man and guide who takes a liking to Miriam, something her father would never approve. While Paradise Valley is everything they'd hoped it would be, it isn't long before the bandits start giving them trouble, threatening to upset the fledgling Amish settlement, even putting their lives in danger. Thankfully no one has been harmed so far, anyway.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:53 -0400)

Caleb Bender and other members of an Ohio Amish community decide to relocate to Mexico to avoid conflicts with Ohio's laws. Caleb's family are the first settlers. His daughters eventually connect with the local people, but the family is endangered by the strife following the Mexican Revolution.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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