Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer Book Review

The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer is the second book in The Daughters of Caleb Bender series about an Amish family in 1920 who moves his family to Paradise Valley, Mexico to escape religious persecution in Ohio. What they encounter is nothing they could of ever imagined. The novels are inspired by actual events from his family.

Mexico is in turmoil after the Revolution and bandits roam the country with no compassion. Taking anything they want. They steal, kill, and take women and children to sell into slavery. This is the second year for the Bender family in Mexico. Life is not getting any easier for them and their Amish community is growing as more families come to Mexico. They are even expecting a preacher to arrive soon. They are being ravaged by disease, death, and the unthinkable. No matter what happens, they are determined to live by their faith and remain true to their convictions.

Caleb's daughter Miriam, is struggling with her feelings for Domingo, a Nahua native who is a farm hand her father has hired and helped the family settle into Paradise Valley. He has also been like a son to Caleb and a true friend to the family.

I loved the characters in this series. This story is fast paced, and is very interesting. Book two focus a lot on Caleb's daughter Miriam and Domingo. Don't worry you will still get a lot of the main characters from the first book.

Rachel, Aaron, Ada, and little Amos are attacked by bandits returning home from a doctor's.  Rachel is kidnapped and Aaron left for dead. Ada wasn't taken because the bandits considered her loco due to her mental disability. Ada runs off with 18 month Amos and has to find her way home. She surprises everyone with what she accomplishes.

Jake and Domingo go after El Pantera to rescue Rachel. Domingo knows the only chance that Rachel and Jake have to get home safely is for him to take a stand and fight. When they return home without him, Miriam and Domingo's sister Kyra go searching for him to bring him home not knowing if he is alive or dead. They are fearing the worst.

Domingo is a fascinating character who is honest, sincere, and a man of high principles. I found him intriguing. His search to understand this, "God of the Amish" intrigues him. He struggles with the "fences". You will just have to read the book to understand.

You can see the gospel is displayed in the lives of many characters. Each character is unique. Each one displaying their own strength of faith and weakness.

I have to say that this has been an amazing series with an ending that you just can't wait to read the third book in the series coming out in December 2013. So long to wait! Thanks Dale for a wonderful book.

This book has been provided to me my by Bethany House Publisher free of charge and in no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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