Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Title: PARADISE VALLEY
Author: Dale Cramer
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Inspirational/historical Amish
Rachel Bender is terrified when her neighbor and friend, Jake Weaver, came running over, announcing that his father had just been arrested and they were on the way to the Weaver farm…And sure enough, Rachel’s father is arrested too, as well as several other men in the Amish community. They are thrown into jail, and a short time later, the police come to take the school aged children to a children’s home, claiming they are abused and neglected because they attend an Amish school and not a public one.
Beaten, the Amish give in—making their school age children walk an hour to the public school and then an hour back home, but they don’t like it. So when Rachel’s father sees an announcement about land, cheap, in Mexico, he talks to his friends and neighbors, then he jumps—willing to make the sacrifice and live away from other Amish to save his wife who needed the climate change, though he’d never admit that to the other Amish.
But Mexico is different. The valley is wonderful, but the trip treacherous and the bandits are robbing them blind. The Benders will need Mexican friends in order to survive. And Rachel is missing that one special boy back in Ohio…
PARADISE VALLEY is another wonderful story by Dale Cramer, one of my absolute favorite authors, and always has been since the beginning when he wrote using the W. in front of his name. Based on a true story, this is also one that will delight Amish readers—it is fiction in the most nonfiction form—it actually happened, with some embellishment.
Rachel is a realistic main character, and I just loved her as well as all the other characters. Mr. Cramer is not a romance writer, but there are times in this story when it is just so sweet it made me cry, some of the scenes were that beautiful. Highly recommended. 5 stars. $14.99. 359 pages.