Last year, I read Paradise Valley, a historical novel about a group of Amish that had emigrated to Mexico. Although the story was fictional, the scenario was based on actual historical events.
The Captive Heart, by Dale Cramer, is a sequel to Paradise Valley, continuing the story of the Amish community’s struggles in a foreign land. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it had many similarities to other Amish fiction that I’ve read, the setting added new twists, addressing issues such as the Amish characters’ commitment to pacifism while trying to survive in a lawless society where bandits freely roamed stealing and kidnapping and law enforcement was of little help. Miriam Bender struggles with her affection for a non-Christian, and certainly non-Amish Mexican and her desire to live a faithful Amish life. Epidemics, attacks by bandits, and kidnappings keep the plot exciting.
I found this story fast paced and hard to put down. I read it in one day! Although it is a sequel, I think it stands very well on its own.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.