Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender)

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9780764208386: Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender)
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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.

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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.

From Booklist:

Cramer follows his acclaimed novel Levi’s Will (2005) with another inspiring and honest look at the Amish community in the opening volume in the Daughters of Caleb Bender trilogy. In 1920s Ohio, Amish fathers are taken to court and imprisoned when they refuse to allow their children to attend public school. Matters escalate when the Amish children are removed from their parents’ homes, stripped of their plain appearance, and forced to live in a children’s home while they attend public school. This incident inspires Caleb Bender to move his entire family to Mexico. Faced with rebuilding a homestead while battling bandits, Cramer’s characters dig deep to find the forgiveness and the strength it takes to truly love one’s enemies. Cramer’s ability to develop characters with genuine struggles sets this Amish novel apart from the rest, especially because it’s based on Cramer’s great-grandfather’s experiences as an elder statesman of the colony Paradise Valley, Mexico. Fans of historical fiction will find enough here to spur further research, and for followers of Amish fiction, this is a must-read. --Elizabeth Ponder

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781611292282: Paradise Valley

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ISBN 10:  161129228X ISBN 13:  9781611292282
Publisher: Bethany House, 2011
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9781410434715: Paradise Valley (Thorndike Press Large Print Christian Historical Fiction)

Thornd..., 2011
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9781611291490: Paradise Valley (Doubleday Large Print Home Library Edition)

Bethan..., 2011
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