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Posted March 11, 2012
Since finishing the first book in Dale Cramer’s The Daughters of Caleb Bender series I could not wait for the next installment. When I received my free copy of The Captive Heart, I could not wait to begin reading it. From the first page I was hooked. Dale Cramer does an amazing job of capturing the readers attention. It is very well written and easy to follow.
This book follows two of Caleb Bender’s daughters, Miriam and Rachel, as they try to survive their new life in Mexico. The girls are put into extremly tough circumstances. As the colony grows in number, a wave of sickness sweeps through. Rachel and her brother take their mentally handicapped sister and one of their nephews to find a doctor. On the trip back they are held up and Rachel is kidnapped. Jake, Rachel’s love, decides to go rescue her. So he and Domingo set out to find her. After finding her and escaping they start back on the trip home. Domingo sends them ahead and stays to fight off the outlaws that are coming after them.
When they arrive home without Domingo, Miriam goes to see his sister, who is a friend of hers. They set out to find him and bring him home. Miriam realizes that she feels more for him than friendship and gratitude for saving her sister. They find him alive but seriously hurt. As they bring him back home she realizes that she has to choose. There is no way that she can have both. Does she choose the man she loves or her family?
This is another great book from Dale Cramer. I can not wait for the third book to come out!!! Thank you Bethany House for my copy!
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Posted March 7, 2012
We join this story after the Caleb Bender family have been in Paradise Valley in Mexico for a year. Arriving in 1922, this story begins in 1923 with the arrival of a couple more families, who are there to help set up the new Amish colony in Mexico. The land is fertile, the Lord has blessed the efforts of Caleb's family and all their work is rewarded with good crops, and the beginnings of a lovely farm.
However the country of Mexico is in turmoil, bandits roam the country taking what they want.Where they were once safe because of their location, and the Senor who lives in their valley they are no longer safe. The death of Pancho Villa, has caused the fear the bandits had of robbing their valley. However it is one bandit, El Pantera, who causes them the most trouble. He has made it clear he wants to take Rachel, to sell into slavery. Her bright red hair will bring him much money.
Miriam, one of Caleb's daughter however is who this story centers around. Her struggle with facing the fact that she is in love with Domingo, the native worker on their farm. She realizes however that he is not saved, and is a warrior at heart, and would never be Amish, and she knows that will cause great pain to her family. She has to come to terms with what her heart wants and what she knows she should do.
This story is fast paced, and is very interesting. The interaction between the families arriving and joining their community is interesting. It seems there are many romances in the air. This story will prove to be a splendid read for all fans of Amish books. It is inspired by actual events and the history is very interesting. I look forward to the next installment of this story. I am very interested to see what and how the Bender family move forward in the story.
This book was provided by Bethany House for review purposes. No payment was received for this review. 344 pages US $14.99 4 stars
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Posted July 28, 2012
Great story continues about an Amish family's struggle to carve out a life in a new country. The story keeps you totally interested as you get involved in their lives. Realistic writing without adding anything considered graphic or inappropriate. I can hardly wait for the next book!
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The Captive Heart continues the story begun in Paradise Valley (2011), in which Amishman Caleb Bender and his family move from Ohio to Mexico in the 1920s to avoid religious persecution. But the trouble they and other settlers face in the fertile yet rugged new land prove to be a far greater challenge. In the turbulent aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, the cultural climate is unstable. Increasing trouble with roaming bandits makes Caleb doubt not only the success of his beloved family in this new land, but his wisdom in bringing them here.
Fresh descriptions paint a vibrant, beautiful setting against the rugged Mexican landscape. In each book, the girls¿ unique stories are artfully woven together with the overarching story of Caleb Bender, the father whose desire to honor and trust ¿Gott¿ leads him on a journey that shakes his faith and tests his quiet, noble strength. A pacifist by faith, he faces the unthinkable: threats against the lives of those he loves. How will he respond? How many must be harmed, even lost before it ends? Must he rethink what he has always believed about the value of a man¿s life versus a man¿s soul?
I loved meeting the characters in Paradise Valley and knowing them better in this second of the three book series. Miriam takes the lead with her forbidden yet growing love for Domingo, the half-breed Mexican native who works for Caleb. A man of strength and wisdom, Domingo says there are many ¿fences¿ that forbid a relationship with Miriam, the one he calls ¿Cualnezqui¿ or Beautiful One.
Domingo is great character whose honesty, strength and nobility I found intriguing. His desire to understand this Christian ¿religion¿ was borne of the troubling fact that it ¿makes no sense.¿ The simple truth of the gospel is displayed in the characters, not so much by their unusual ways, but by the consistent grace evident in their lives. The daughters each possess a unique, distinct voice, displaying their own strength of faith and quiet beauty. One daughter voices simply yet powerfully what it means to be a child of God. I appreciated her simple message that it is not about how we practice our faith or what disciplines it takes to conquer our sinful nature, but that it is a matter of constant surrender to God.
Knowing Cramer has both family history and intimate ties to the Amish community makes the stories and characters that much more fascinating. This series is based on actual events that occurred in his family in the 1920s, making this story especially intriguing. Cramer does a fabulous job weaving a story filled with distinct characters with goals, fears and triumphs we can all relate to. Despite differences of era, culture, and religious traditions, the characters in this series depict universal joys and pains that resonate with everyone.
You don¿t have to be a fan of Amish fiction to be captivated by Cramer¿s Amish works. My husband saw me reading The Captive Heart and asked, ¿Is there any action in that book?¿ To which I replied, ¿Yes!¿ I¿ve decided this series creates a new genre: Amish Action.
The joys, fears, and sufferings in The Captive Heart are deeply emotive. The romantic threads of Miriam and Rachel as well as the threats and dangers kept me reading non-stop. This story is a rewarding blend of romance, mystery and gripping action. It¿s a blend I can imagine seeing on the big screen. I eagerly look forward to the third book in the series and am already sad this beautiful saga must come to
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Posted June 27, 2014
Posted March 28, 2014
I really enjoyed this book (series of books). If you enjoy amish christian books, you'll enjoy this. Different than most, these books are set in Mexico in the 1920's. Their struggles make you appreciate the struggles of the early 1900's. The family endures alot yet they stsy strong in family, faith and love.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2014
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Posted September 30, 2013
Janie R. Freeman rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer
The Captive Heart (Daughters of Caleb Bender, #2)
by Dale Cramer
read in September, 2013
1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars[ 5 of 5 stars ]
This was an awesome story, partially based on true events. It was fast-paced, and very intense at times, that I had a hard time putting down the book! This is the 2nd book of the this series, and I am looking forward to reading the next book! Thanks...more
Posted August 2, 2013
Hi. I dont have any money but i love to read these types of books. Can someone please lend me the last two books of this series please. Thanks and God bless.
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Posted August 2, 2013
I enjoyed this book (and series) very much. Would be interested to know if there will be more in the series beyond book #3.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 30, 2013
I love stories about the Amish and this was great. A different setting from the usual, but still very interesting. The series was well worth time spent reading it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2013
Posted March 20, 2013
A fast paced Amish story
The second year in Mexico isn't going so good for the Bender family or the other Amish that have moved to Paradise Valley. El Pantera and his bandits are more of a threat since Pancho Villa is no longer alive. Even with the newest Amish arriving there is still no Bishop, no leader for them to make necessary decisions.
Miriam is getting older and finds herself falling in love with Domingo, which gives her no future since he is Mexican not Amish. Because of her age she agrees to marry Micah Shrock. When diptheria hits their community, Aaron Bender takes his sisters to the nearest doctor seeking treatment. Another doctor is sent for to treat the community to save as many lives as possible. On their way home they are attacked by El Pantera and his bandits. Two of them get away, one is kidnapped and one is killed.
This is a pretty fast paced storyline for an Amish story and keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you find your family and friends dying from disease and being kidnapped and killed do you think you would stay or return to your home country? You'll have to read the book to see what the Benders and other Amish decide to do. Myself, I don't think I would want to stay there.
I found this book better than the first and am looking forward to the third one, which I'm already over half done with. So don't cheat and wait for my review to see what they decide to do, read these first two books before you read that last review, PLEASE!
Posted July 19, 2012
Posted May 24, 2012
Wow, Dale Cramer gives a different twist on Amish fiction in this series. In this second book of the series, more Ohio Amish join Caleb and his family at the newly Amish community in Mexico. As the Amish ways are, they all helped each other out in building houses and barns, and fields to plant food and ways of making money.
The one thing that is different for me with Amish fiction is the dangers this community of Amish people faced because of the new area they were in. They had to deal with bandits that didn’t think twice about pulling a gun on any of them. And this was especially difficult because of the Amish ways of not fighting back. Mexican friend Domingo, who had been helping Caleb since being in Mexico was a tremendous help since he knows the people of the area and their ways, but these Amish still faces difficulty, hurt, heartbreak and loss.
I highly recommend this book for Amish fiction lovers, as well as those liking Christian fiction, or just a good ole read. You will not be disappointed in this book, or this series by Dale Cramer
A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House for me to read and review. The opinions in this review are mine only, and my honest opinion.
Posted March 5, 2012