"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review of Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley
Dale Cramer
Bethany House 2011
ISBN 9780764208386

   In 1921 several Amish fathers were arrested for violating the newly enacted Bing Act in Holmes County, Ohio. The government was forcing the Amish community to attend school with the rest of the community and to attend five days per week. The children were taken from them and placed in a children's home and had their hair cut and Amish clothing confiscated. After the Amish men agreed to allow their children to attend the school, they were released and the children were returned.
   Caleb Bender discovers an offer of land in Mexico for sale and decides to move his family there. His daughter, Rachel, is forced to move away from the young man she has her heart set on. The whole family finds themselves in an unfamiliar land where no one speaks their language and are unfamiliar with their ways. Their faith will be tested in more ways then one. Bandits force themselves on them and steal from them and the government will do nothing to intervene. Two daughters give birth in a place where no doctor is available. Will the rest of the Amish community move to Mexico? Will Rachel's Jake convince his father to move there after hearing about the bandit problem?
   This is a wonderful story of the the Amish told from a completely different perspective then most. I for one have never read anything about them going to Mexico. It put a completely different twist to the usual trials they face. Their faith is tested to the limits. The storyline flowed very nicely from the beginning. My only complaint was with the ending. It left you hanging, with no idea if there will be a sequel. It most definitely allowed for the possibility. All of the characters were quite interesting.  Rachel was a strong young woman, even though she was only sixteen. By the middle of the story, she discovers a powerful gift that she possesses. There was also a daughter who is mentally deficient. The mother suffers from breathing issues; but the dry Mexican air allows her condition to improve. There are many and varied circumstances surrounding the characters. You will just have to read the book to find out all the details.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for a follow-up to this book.
   I want to thank Bethany House for providing me with a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review.

I give Paradise Valley 4 out of 5 stars

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