Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
Amish pacifism is sorely tested in the Paradise Valley settlement in the 1920s. When an army of bandits descends on them, the Amish are saved by the last-minute arrival of government troops. But they soon learn that soldiers can be as cruel as the bandits themselves. Then a bishop travels to Mexico, and Caleb's daughters are finally able to marry, though the ban still looms for Miriam even as her beloved Domingo decides he must go off to fight in the coming war. As Caleb's frail hope of peace and freedom in Mexico slips away, he is left to ponder the question: In times of trouble, on whom should we rely?
Starting with Paradise Valley (see review here) Dale Cramer gave us two additional books in the 'Daughters of Caleb Bender' Trilogy, with 'Though Mountains Fall', Book 3 last in the series.
I would like to suggest you start with 'Paradise valley' and 'The Captive Heart' to truly appreciate the depth of the whole series.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with this author, let me quickly say Dale Cramer's penmanship blends Amish genre with a touch of Louis L'Amour and legendary Zane Grey's western style!
Who would have thought it possible? Yet he does and with unmistakable flair. 'Though Mountains Fall' is surely another feather in his cap!
The Amish settlement in Mexico in the 1920's with Caleb Bender as the first Elder to have settled in Paradise Valley, struggles to survive. Renegade attacks, pernicious disease and general unrest in the colony have undermined the peaceful atmosphere Caleb and the other settlers strives to maintain. Caleb hopes the arrival of a Bishop might help to alleviate their concerns.
But their beliefs are stretched to their limits when a Bandidos' attack is imminent and their only recourse is to ask for the Mexican government's help.This requires financial back up they are unable to meet and the local Hacienda owner is unwilling to intercede.
When the Federales however finally arrive, they bring with them all sorts of new troubles leading Caleb to wonder if this valley is truly Gott's will for his family and friends after all. When tragedy hits yet again, the settlement's whole existence is questioned and Caleb humbly faces the harsh reality of failing to protect those he loves most.
If I have been somewhat vague in relenting details, it is because to reveal more would be to spoil the intense plot! True to his previous writings, the author does not avoid honest yet harsh turmoil in his storytelling.
Clearly Dale Cramer relies on his knowledgeable background as well as facts taken from an actual Amish settlement in Mexico, with the dramatic ending of the series, a reminder we cannot control events, only our actions.
Furthermore I admit I enjoyed the series (or to clarify, the two books of the series I have read) and I understand the peaceful Amish community is not immune to the outside world's struggles.
But...I prefer my readings to be less intense, leaning to enjoy more peaceful renderings of the Amish world.
Note: Due to thematic contents the series recommended for mature readers only.
About the Author:
'Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.
After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings and a hard-rock mining operation.
He published his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003. Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists.'
For more information, visit his website (HERE).
I received this book free from BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS as part of their blogger review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.