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The Captive Heart (The Daughters of Caleb Bender) (Volume 2) Paperback – January 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: The Daughters of Caleb Bender (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076420839X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764208393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the 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!

About the Author

Dale Cramer is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novels Paradise Valley and Levi's Will. Dale lives in Georgia with his wife and two sons.

More About the Author

DALE CRAMER was the second of four children born to a runaway Amishman turned soldier and a south Georgia sharecropper's daughter. His formative years were divided between far-flung military bases, yet he always maintained his mother's sense of place, remembering the knee-deep snows of Maryland, chasing horned toads in El Paso, or a sun-rippled macadam road at his grandparents' Georgia house. True to his Amish roots Dale skipped college and went to work with his hands, earning a living as an electrician, all the while reading widely and voraciously. The thought was never far from his mind that someday he would like to write books.

In 1975 he married his childhood friend Pam, and eventually they settled in the country south of Atlanta. They have two sons,Ty and Dusty. After keeping the boys in daycare for a year, Pam and Dale decided to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to provide a full time homelife. The decision came with unexpected results when Dale became a stay-at-home dad. He took on small construction projects in the evenings, both for the sake of his sanity and to help make ends meet. One of these jobs led to his first published writing, an article in Industry Week.

Having gained a taste for writing, he decided to pursue the avocation, studying technique, reading books, and writing during his sons' naps. Over the next two years he published short stories in several literary magazines, and in 1997 Dale began work on his first novel. Sutter's Cross was eventually published to great acclaim in 2003.

His second novel, Bad Ground (2004), owes a great deal to the author's own experiences as a construction electrician. The industrial setting is based on a real water treatment plant on the south side of Atlanta. One of the main characters, badly burned in an explosion, gains a unique measure of authenticity from the author's own experience. Publishers Weekly selected Bad Ground as one of the "Best Books of 2004", as did Library Journal and Booklist. The novel also won a Christy Award from the Christian Booksellers Association.

Dale's third novel, Levi's Will, follows the life of runaway Amishman Will Mullet, who must reconcile himself to his roots before he can find true redemption. Loosely based on the life of Dale's father, Levi's Will has also found critical acclaim and netted Dale a second Christy Award.

Summer of Light, Dale's fourth novel, released in 2007, is a much lighter read, a humorous and sometimes poignant romp through the daily grind of an ironworker who reluctantly becomes a stay at home dad to three free-spirited kids, a menagerie of animals and a diabolically intelligent dog.

Customer Reviews

The book was captivating, and very interesting.
Barbara A Miller
I also found it a very interesting way to learn about the Amish and their culture.
Tanna LoHouse
The story I felt was very well written and the character's easy to relate to.
katie mcgraw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on January 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer is the second book in The Daughters of Caleb Bender series about an Amish man in 1920 who moves his family to rural Mexico in hopes of escaping religious persecution in the United States only to encounter difficulties and loss he never could have imagined. Miriam, his second eldest daughter is still struggling with her feelings for Domingo, a Nahua who has helped the family settle in to Paradise Valley, but in order to please her family she allows Micah to court her. Rachel, the youngest daughter, has settled into a happy courtship with Jake. As more families move into the valley, courting couples anxiously await the arrival of a pastor so they can get married. But El Pantera, the bandit who caused trouble for Caleb and his family in the first novel isn't through with them, and he certainly hasn't forgotten his humiliation at Domingo's hands. Cramer ups the ante in this novel by ratcheting up the tension and action. There is a hopelessness among the Amish as they try to face the absolute evil of a man with no morals without resorting to violence. I felt my nerves stretch as El Pantera struck again and again, each time pushing them a little farther until he finally snaps in an explosion of violence that left me breathless and heartbroken. Cramer really allows the reader to feel the helplessness of the Bender family in the face of evil, clinging bravely to the prayer that Gott will hear them. One warning to readers: don't pick this novel up unless you have the next several hours free, because it is impossible to put down once you start. I can't wait to see what happens next to the Amish of Paradise Valley.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Stramel on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Having read all of Dale Cramer's books, this one is the best. And that's saying a lot because they're all 5 star in my book. The ongoing saga of the Amish families that moved to Mexico's Paradise Valley is tragic and also heart-warming. Best of all, they're based on the true story of Dale's own family history. I couldn't put it down!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Martha Petty on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all of the books written by Dale Cramer. He has a very great way with words. You feel as tho you are there.I just finished Captive Heart and wish so much that he had another one to read. i keep them and reread them again. Thanks, Dale
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melissa K. Norris on March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Amish in the book have started their own settlement in the hills of Mexico. Their farms are robbed by bandits and one of their daughters kidnapped. Still, they don't abide to violence. They won't take up a gun and defend, because they believe to turn the other cheek, like the Bible says.

I've always struggled with this verse in the Bible. I'm feisty by nature and the idea of letting someone hit my other cheek after they've struck my other, well, it get's my blood pumping.

But, I realized something while reading this story. If you don't believe God is big enough to defend you, to work all things out for His good, no matter what the situation, then do you really believe in Him? If He couldn't find a way to deliver me from men, then how do I expect Him to deliver me from eternal death?

I won't spoil the end of this book, but let me say, God is big enough. Both in fiction and in our real world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Rempel on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
As many of you know, Amish Fiction is one of my favorite Christian Fiction genres currently. I have read many authors of this genre and all have captured my attention and brought me to a whole different and simpler life as I have read each book. Dale Cramer is no different. I absolutely loved his first book of the Daughters of Caleb Bender, Paradise Valley, and so was extremely excited to read book two, The Captive Heart recently.

The Captive Heart is full of action, romance, mystery and more. You will laugh, love, cry and be angry as you read each page. There is a little something for everyone in this book. You will be pulled in from the very first pages until the very last page. A heart-warming book that I absolutely loved. And I am very excited to say that book three (and the final one of this series) is coming out in December 2012. It is a long wait for the final book, but based on Paradise Valley and The Captive Heart, book three is going to awesome. I can't wait to see how all the loose ends from Book two wind up in Cramer's next work.

The Captive Heart was so good, I read it in one sitting, I just could not put it down. Now you know it's a great book when you can't put it down. Good thing I had a patient husband that day:)

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Morgan on February 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Captive Heart is the second book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series. This book continues the story of the Bender family and their Amish community in Paradise Valley, Mexico. The Amish community is growing as more families make the journey to Mexico. Miriam Bender has feelings for Domingo, the Mexican hired hand. Her father is pushing her towards Micah, a young Amish man whose family has come to Mexico. Miriam is torn between her feelings for Domingo and her family and religion.

Though the book focuses on Miriam the book keeps the reader up to date on the other members of the Bender family. As in the first book there is a lot going on. There is plenty to keep the reader entertained. There is illness, triumph, romance and those pesky bandits are still creating all sorts of trouble.

I gave this book four stars instead of five because of a plot twist. I won't mention what it is and spoil the book as others may enjoy it but I just didn't find it enjoyable and (sorry to say this) thought it dragged on a little too long. But other than this I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to readers of the first book.
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