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Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender Book #1) by [Cramer, Dale]
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Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender Book #1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

About the Author

Dale Cramer, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novel Levi's Will, was the second of four children born to a runaway Amishman and a sharecropper's daughter. True to his Amish ancestry, he skipped college and became an electrician, yet the thought was never far from his mind that someday he would like to write. Dale lives in McDonough, Georgia, with his family.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1306 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (Jan. 1 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,215 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What an interesting, unique start to a brand-new series! Paradise Valley, an Amish Historical Fiction novel written by Dale Cramer and published in 2011 by Bethany House*, is based on actual events from Amish history. In fact, Mr. Cramer’s great-grandparents were leading members of the real Mexican colony called Paradise Valley, which was established in the 1920s. The writing style of this book is warm and fairly light, and allows you to watch the story unfold from the different perspectives of several characters. Opening with conflict between an Amish community and the state law, this story pulls you into the life-changing decision made by one man attempting to protect his family.

A significant reason in explaining what makes Paradise Valley such a memorable read is the large host of remarkable and lovable characters contained within pages of the book. Although the story is spotlighting an entire family, a strong and caring young girl named Rachel Bender is our main heroine. Other characters almost as prominent include her loving, persuasive sister Emma, the “too-smart-for-her-own-good” sister Miriam, and their honorable, faithful ‘Dat’, Caleb. The entire Bender family, from Dat and Mamm down to the youngest daughter, grow stronger, closer to each other, and closer to God as the story unfolds. For you, the reader, the vivid portrayal of the characters brings each one to life as a friend who will not soon be forgotten.

In the simple Amish community of Salt Creek Township, Ohio, life is changed in an instant when the government forces the Plain people to abide by a law completely opposing their way of life, religion, and beliefs. This inevitably forces Caleb Bender to make a decision that will affect his family and community forever.
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By Canadianladybug TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 28 2011
Format: Paperback
This is my second book from the author Dale Cramer and I must honestly say that I enjoyed this book as much if not more than the previous one.

Imagine having to uproot your family from a family area where it has been part of the life of a couple of generations before so that you can stand up to your belief regarding school. This is what the whole story is all about and more. The main characters will experience the unknown and broken dreams to face a new life in Mexico. This new life is not an easy one but everyone are chipping in and face together the problems they are experiencing whether it is bandits or births and a difficult pregnancy.

This book won't be the only one in the series I am certain of this. Based on a true story, I am quite certain that the author will expand more on his own family history and not let the reader down in the future. Because honestly, I want to know what will happen to Jake and Rachel, Miriam and Domingo, as well as the rest of the family. How can the Amish will affect the lives of the people living close by - even the bandits.

I love reading historical fiction. It makes the story so much more credible, more real. And to have a true story of Amish moving to Mexico is quite interesting. In a way, I could see how much work it was for the families who decided to move out west back in the days.

If you like Amish fiction, you won't be disappointed with Paradise Valley since it is based on real events that happened in the history of Dale Cramer family.

Disclaimer: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.
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Format: Paperback
Paradise Valley is about Caleb Bender's decision to move his family to Mexico rather than allow the state to force his youngest children into the English school system. The novel actually begins some time before the family boards the train. Dale Cramer takes time to let us get to know the family and their community, and to let us understand their faith and the seriousness of this state law that makes them flee. By the time they go, we're definitely rooting for them.

I've only read a couple of other Amish novels, and they didn't engage me. Paradise Valley brought the culture of this Old Order community to life in a way that caught my imagination. These aren't rigid, legalistic people, although I'm sure some in the community are. Caleb and his family are sincerely devoted to God, and they want to please Him more than anything else.

Paradise Valley is a heart-warming Amish historical with richly-textured characters and setting and a plot that kept me turning pages. I don't know how fast Mr. Cramer can write, but I wanted to go out and get a copy of the next book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series right away.

I've been a fan of Dale Cramer since reading Bad Ground, and along with his characters and stories I enjoy finding the gems he hides in the narrative.

Caleb is one of the point of view characters in the story. His daughter Rachel has the main female role, and the women and girls far outnumber the men in the Bender clan. For Rachel and Miriam, the journey leads them to discover their own strengths, and although they despair of love and marriage, all may not be lost.
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