I received the book The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer from Bethany House for review. I really enjoyed the first book in this series (The daughters of Caleb Bender) and was super excited to get to review this second book. It is a series based on true events in which an Amish community moves to Mexico (Paradise Valley) so that their children will not be forced to attend an "English" school.
The Captive Heart picks up right where Paradise Valley leaves off. It is just as well written and gives intriguing insight into the lives of the Amish and the Mexicans living around them. The love stories seem honest and realistic. The story is thrilling at times and the historical facts seem well researched.
Yet I couldn't love this book as much as the first one. The whole complete pacifist nature of the Amish tradition began to grate on my nerves after a while. I don't fault them for standing up for what they believe. They are a testament of faith even when they are the only ones going in that direction. I just don't see their point of view in the Bible so it is hard for me to read it without getting annoyed. Somehow this was not such a major factor in the first book so I didn't mind so much. And let's face it, self-defending Amish would have been out of place. I think Mr. Cramer did a good job sticking with the Amish values. It is just tiring to me to read.
In the end, I give the book 4 stars and still look forward to reading the third one.