"I want you to promise you will always be my sister."
There were tears in Miriam's eyes as their foreheads touched and Rachel whispered, "No matter what. Always."
Now in its fourth year, the Amish settlement in Mexico is thriving. But as new settlers arrive, sons and daughters marry, babies are born, and crops grow thick, a storm looms on the horizon. And Caleb Bender knows--perhaps better than anyone--that the worst of storms don't come from the western skies.
They come on horseback.
When their very existence is threatened, the Amish turn to the Mexican government for help, only to discover that the rulers of men are fickle and security is an illusion. Tried by fire and riven by war, Caleb and Domingo come to understand that the kingdom of God is not to be found in land or buildings or gold or armies, but in the hearts of peaceful men trying to feed their families.
Watching helplessly as daughters Rachel, Miriam, and Emma are drawn inexorably toward their separate destinies, Caleb is forced to confront the most important decision of his life.
The Bender family has lived in Mexico for four years. They've built a thriving Amish community in the hills of Paradise Valley. They have endured loss, but their family has also grown. Now threatened again by El Pantera and his bandits, they ask the Mexican government for protection. But when the federales arrive, Caleb begins to wonder if they aren't nearly as bad as the bandits.
Rachel and Jake face another crisis before they can be married and Miriam finds herself torn between her love for her family and her love for Domingo. Knowing she will be shunned, she marries him anyway. I loved the authenticity as I read how Caleb and his family struggled with following the Amish rules, but loving their daughter and son in law and wanting to see them.
The story isn't a particularly happy one as the Bender family faces new and difficult trials and the future that awaits them is one that Caleb didn't plan on, but the story is rich, well researched and enjoyable and is a fitting end to the Daughters of Caleb Bender series.
I have loved this series. Absolutely loved it and I have waited anxiously, almost a year for this last installment and it did not disappoint. I did not want to see it end.
You can learn more about Dale Cramer here. You can purchase your own copy here.
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