Book Review – Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
Paradise Valley is the story of a young Amish lady and her family’s struggle for the freedom to educate their children in their faith. Almost sixteen-year-old Rachel Bender has her own struggle with falling in love and pursuing her dreams.
After five of the Amish fathers are arrested for not sending their children to school, the pressure grows for them to find another way. Caleb Bender believes he has found God’s answer in the form of land for sale in Paradise Valley in Mexico. The main hurdle remains the fact that this fertile farmland lies in one of the most dangerous Mexican regions. With promises that other Amish families will follow, Caleb decides it should be his family who will blaze the trail. A journey of faith, fear and great change begins.
Being a Texan, I understood more of the history and culture of Mexico than that of the Amish. Made for an interesting combination and a good read. The characters were well drawn and distinguished throughout. Rachel’s secret love and the way Emma’s shortcoming was handled were things I found distasteful in the story. Aside from that, the tension and action kept the story moving at a good clip once the Benders arrived in Mexico. The descriptions placed you right in the heart of the valley.
I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys Amish fiction or wants a different perspective of Mexican culture around 1921.
Bethany House provided my review copy.