Though Mountains Fall

Written by Dale Cramer
Review by Nancy Attwell

This final book of the Daughters of Caleb Bender trilogy brings the series to an emotional conclusion. Previously, Caleb Bender had moved his family from Ohio to Mexico because he believed that “Gott” was leading him to establish an Amish community in ParadiseValley in the SierraMadreMountains. Other families followed, but the future of the settlement was threatened by the bandits that roamed the hills. In 1925, as Caleb and his family begin their fourth year in their new home, Caleb grieves the murder of his eldest son yet continues to stand firm in the pacifist convictions of his faith.

There is a theme in this novel that while everyone has the right to live by their own choices, they must also accept the consequences that follow. Caleb’s decision­­ to adhere to the tenets of his faith and not a raise a hand against his enemies, even in self-defense, embraces the consequence that he, or his loved ones, may suffer and die. Likewise, his daughter Miriam’s decision to deny her faith and marry outside the Amish community includes acceptance that she must now be shunned by her own family, which will cause tremendous heartache to all.

Cramer’s own family history provides the basis for this story, which may be the reason why the characters seem so real. The plight of these hard-working people as they work to build a community based on peace in the midst of a society in violent turmoil is both heartbreaking and inspiring.