Friday, May 6, 2011

Paradise Valley, by Dale Cramer (Review)

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Paradise Valley tells the story of an Amish community in Ohio in 1922 in which children were ordered by the court to attend public schools. When the families refused to comply, several of the men were put in jail and children were put in a state-run home. In response, some of the families moved to Mexico, where they started a new Amish community, Paradise Valley. In Mexico, the families encountered many changes and difficulties, including threats from marauding bandits. This fictional story was based on true life events. The author’s grandparents and great-grandparents were involved in this “Mexican experiment.”

I really enjoyed this book. The circumstances made it quite different from other “Amish books” that I’ve read and the dangers and cultural differences of life in Mexico made it interesting.  The characters were likeable and believable and there was just enough suspense to keep the story moving quickly. Although the conclusion was satisfying, there were some ends left untied which make me think that a sequel will follow. I will look forward to that.

I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

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