Paradise Valley

[amazon_link id=”B0057DBH0W” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Paradise Valley (The Daughters of Caleb Bender)[/amazon_link]
Paradise Valley
by Dale Cramer

I’ve always been fascinated with the Amish way of life.  I’ve been to Lancaster and a long time ago I went with a friend to a conference (if you can call it that… more like a church gathering/service that lasted all weekend) there as well.  I don’t fully agree with their beliefs, but there is something appealing about their way of life.  The quiet, peace, tranquility and reward of hard work.  I know, I know they work HARD.  They have to provide their own daily bread, purely by hard labor. But it still intrigues me!

I saw a review on this book and thought it look interesting, so I read it. It was ok.  It was definitely a clean romance novel, but it was just that… a romance novel.  I would prefer to read something with a little more substance to it.

The book is historical fiction and I did learn some new history from the 1920s, but I could have learned it another way.  I think it was 1921 that Ohio made it law that all children 6-18 had to go to public schools and that included the Amish children as well.  Many families refused and the fathers were jailed and the children were removed from the homes.  There was only so long they could survive having the head of household in jail with farms to run and the extra hands were no longer around either.  Finally they gave in and the children attended the public schools.

Paradise Valley is an actual location in Mexico.  Many families ended up leaving Ohio and other states that had similar laws to start over in a new land.  They had much hardship and challenges to face, but they made it.  They built a large community there that lasted quite a few years.  It was soon after the Mexican Revolution and remnants of Pancho Villa’s army still roamed the mountains and harassed these newcomers.  Another interesting fact was that the authors own father was born in Mexico and his great-grandfather was the elder statesman of the colony.

I found the truth behind the novel to be much more interesting than the novel itself.  The novel tells the story of one family in particular who leaves Ohio and starts a new life in Mexico.  I’m sure there are better ways to learn the history of this era and I would recommend doing that!  I can’t give a very hearty promotion of the book, but maybe with what I’ve written there is something there that interests you!

I’ve you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you think!

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