Jan 23, 2012

Book Review: The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer

Excerpt: Caleb cleared his throat. "What I'm trying to say in my clumsy way is that if Gott says it is not good for the man to be alone, then it is probably not good too for people to be alone. We - my wife and children and me - have been alone in a strange land for a year now . . ."

His thoughts overwhelmed his voice for a moment and he paused to collect himself.

When he looked up again, his eyes found John Hershberger and he said quietly, "I think mebbe Gott meant for us to be with Him and with one another. I cannot tell you how full my heart is this morning when I look out and see that we are no longer alone. It is very, very good."

Miriam knew from personal experience that it was definitely not good to be alone. Keeping her eyes on her father, avoiding Micah's glances, she felt a pang of guilt. Domingo was not Amish. It was inevitable; any sort of relationship with him would surely bring censure of the church, but she couldn't help herself. His voice echoed in her head.


Beautiful one. The Captive Heart, pg 21.

Back Cover: The Epic Story of an Amish Community in Peril

Ravaged by disease, preyed upon by ruthless bandits, the Bender family's second year in Mexico has taken a grievous turn. Faced with impossible choices, the expatriate Amish discover, more than ever before, what it means to live by faith and not by sight.

But it's Miriam who must make the hardest choice as her heart takes her on a new and dangerous course. Domingo. "He is gentle," his sister said, "until someone he loves is threatened." Is Miriam that someone?

"Cualnezqui," he often calls her--the Nahuatl word for Beautiful one. The chiseled native has proven himself a man of principle, grace and power, yet is he the pearl of great price for whom Miriam would sacrifice everything, or is he merely a friend? Tormented by conflicting emotions, she's haunted by vivid dreams: Dressed in the coarse cotton pants and shirt of a peasant, she stands on the precipice of a sun-washed ridge searching desperately for Domingo. Domingo the fierce. Domingo the protector.

Domingo the forbidden.

Inspired by Actual Events!

My Review: The Captive Heart is the second book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series. (You can read my review of  Paradise Valley, the first book in the series, here.) Dale Cramer's Amish fiction has a flavor all of its own. Too often, I am put off by this genre because of how the Amish way of life is romanticized. Cramer doesn't do that. The Captive Heart is the continuing story of an Amish community's struggle in a foreign and dangerous land. This novel is full of danger, bandits, disease, kidnapping and death. It is also a story of love and longing, and trying to understand the ways of God in the world of men. I appreciate Dale Cramer's style. There were times in this story that I felt distance from the characters. Maybe it was because there are so many characters to keep track of and care about. I didn't lose myself in this book like I would have liked, but I did enjoy it.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to readers of Amish fiction and fans of Dale Cramer.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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