Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Southside  Book  Reviews

Reviews Of Books Recently Written By Southside Authors

Compiled by:  Forrest W. Schultz   770-583-3258


November 1, 2011



Amish  Fiction in The Dale Cramer Style


A review of


Dale Cramer The Captive Heart, Book 2 of The Daughters of Caleb Bender (Minneapolis, Minn.:  Bethany House, 2011)

                     217 pp   $14.99   ISBN: 978-0-7642-0839-3   Advance Reading Copy


Reviewer:  Forrest Wayne Schultz



     I am told that there is a lot of Amish fiction being written now but I have read none of it except for the first two books in Dale Cramer's trilogy.  These two books are excellent stories, which is not suprising since they are written in the Dale Cramer style.  Therefore, if you liked Cramer's previous books, you will like this one also.


     You will find the Dale Cramer style in his portrayal of the struggles of the Ohio Amish who have recently founded the Paradise Valley colony in Mexico where they are fighting to maintain their lives and their pacifistic principles when attacked by vicious Mexican bandits, and where one of their young women is struggling to know what to do when she falls in love with a Mexican Indian.  Now there have been many stories containing the elements of attacks by outlaw gangs on settlers and of forbidden love, but few of them have been as well written and interesting as Dale Cramer's account in the book under review here.  And, as a bonus you will probably learn some things about the Amish, which are realistically portrayed, which is not surprising because Cramer himself is descended from them.


     And there is an important story element which needs to be emphasized because it could be overlooked, and that is the view of the Amish people and the Amish God which is gradually formed in the mind of Domingo, a Mexican Indian, as he comes to know the Amish  in the course of the story.  As I pondered this, I was reminded of that great line from one of the finest poems of Bobby Burns referring to what a great gift it is "to see ourselves as others see us".  It is also interesting to note how he contrasts the way of life of the Amish with the way he learned among his Indian tribe, and the Amishman's God with the Indian gods.


     The scheduled release date for The Captive Heart is December 1st.  The third and final volume of the trilogy is expected to be published in December 2012.  Information on the author is available at


Post a Comment

<< Home