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Levi's Will

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  954 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Takes readers behind the closed doors of an Amish community for a family saga of pain and reconciliation.
Paperback, 394 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Bethany House Publishers (first published November 30th 2004)
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Christy Award Winners
51st out of 119 books — 86 voters
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Community Reviews

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So... a couple weeks ago I read a W. Dale Cramer book called Sutter's Cross. Then I went on to read 2 or 3 more books I don't even remember because Sutter's Cross totally eclipses them. So I thought... I'll read another of Mr. Cramer's books. I just finished Levi's Will... and again, I'm so impressed. I love this man's writing. As soon as I finish this review I'm starting Summer of Light.
What I didn't know as I read Levi's Will is that it is greatly based upon his father's life. An Amish boy, f
Cass Wessel
"Levi's Will"
By W. Dale Cramer
Levi Mullet’s Tobe accompanies his brother Will as the boys hop a moving freight to ride the rails into adulthood. A couple years fly by and Will finds WWII exploding unexpected, conscience-searing ordinance, like a howitzer cannon pummeling enemy troops, into his life. Fast forward, a married Will finds his friend, finds a job and finds a life filled with something he Beneath mundane everyday existence, the capsized relationship between Will an
A great story. I loved that it was based on the life of the author's father. I found myself reading lots of sections to my wife, because of the humor that was woven into this sincere "prodigal son" story.
I have read other Dale Cramer books that I liked, but this one was just so slow moving that I couldn't get into it. I gave up after 100 pages.
As a general rule, I steer clear of Christian fiction. For the Amish, however, I will make an exception. I've always been fascinated by them, and curious about the stories of people who have experienced both the world as the Amish believe it to be, and how we "English" believe it to be.

I really enjoyed this novel--Cramer's writing is gentle and he weaves Will's story beautifully. This is the kind of book that works well as a long read over a few days or even a week or two. Sometimes that kind of
Keiki Hendrix
In W. Dale Cramer’s novel Levi's Will, you will find rich storytelling, an eloquent writing style, and thought provoking dialogue.

Returning to his Amish roots to attend his Father's funeral, Will McGruder, an Amish prodigal, remembers the span of his life from the time he originally fled in shame.

Traveling with his son back to Amish country, Will recalls his life as the scenery and the conversation spark flashbacks of his childhood and the events that propelled him to leave.

The story is told in
Levi's Will
W. Dale Cramer
Bethany House
Contemporary Fiction/Amish

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

Reprinted with a new cover, and a wonderful afterword W. Dale Cramer's book Levi's Will will reach out and grab your heart strings.

Will Mullet, aka Will McGruder, was born Amish, and brought up Amish. However he chaffed at some of the Amish ways, especially the ones he felt were designed to trap Amish children into never leaving home. Having sinned against the church and his family, Will runs away. He spe
James Korsmo
Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the review copy. In Levi's Will, Cramer brings the modern-day Amish community to life. He crafts a powerful story of a son, Will, who leaves the Amish community of his birth under a cloud of disgrace to find his way in the world. Eventually he reestablishes contact with his family, but his reception is mostly cold, especially from his father, Levi, who considers Will to be under the ban imposed on him for his youthful waywardness. As the years go by, and he ...more
Michelle Rayburn
I loved this book. It isn’t like any other Amish fiction out there. It isn’t about the pull of the world or struggle to leave and face the ban. Instead, it’s a story of a legacy of fathers to children, good or bad. The story unfolds with Will leaving his Amish community and the rest of it focuses on the pain of unforgiveness, the loss from severed relationships, and the wounds that run deep in a shunned man.

The book alternates by chapters between the present and the past. But it’s easy to follo
Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer

I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just an honest one.

Levi's Will is quite unique as far as Amish fiction goes. It is historical Amish fiction, which I always find very intriguing because it's a blend of two of my favorite genres: Amish fiction and historical fiction!

Levi's Will centers around the life of Will, a young man who left the Old Order Amish when he was just
" Levi's Will' by Dale Cramer gets 5 stars from me. This is a fiction novel based on actual events from the author's own father's past. This story is a stand alone but I am glad that I read it after reading The Daughter's of Caleb Bender first. This story tells about Will running away from his home and leavening a pregnant girlfriend and his father because he feels he cannot measure up to his father's strict Amish ways and his life and his coming back to His father and God but not as an Amish ma ...more
Levi is Amish raised and in his family, his father is LAW. When he does something to go against their ways rather than face up to his father, he runs away and begins a life outside of the structured life he has known. His younger brother, Tobe, decides he as well wants a different life and goes with him. Levi soon realizes if he is to be in the 'English' world he must act the part. For him, there is no turning back, as he has already been baptized in the Amish order so this means banishment for ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

The first thing I liked about this book was the authenticity of Will & Tobe. More often than not, books featuring Amish have mild characters who all act the same - always happy/solemn, etc. One of the reasons why Will left is enough to interest me. When you you ever hear about an Amish person doing that? They are not sinless. Even though so many people portray them as so. And Tobe... I can picture him easily as well!
There is one cuss word I have found so far, being the 'N' word. I don't thi
Tasha enderby
I started off with a distaste for this book, I guess I get stuck in the rythems and stucture of writtings of my favorite Amish Authors and this is not like that at all. This to me reads of an outsider in looking in on Amish and when I read the author's notes it totally explains why. This is not his story but a story handed down to him from his grandfather. This book will make you stop and look at the way you raise your children, our past in an imprint on them but we as parents have to let them g ...more
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major Conflicts[return]Follow the life of Will McCruder--also known as Will Mullet. Will changed his name after running away from home. He was raised old-order Amish by a father who is unyielding--so unyielding that when Will gets into trouble with a girl he doesn't want to face his father's wrath. Nor does he want to face the discipline of the Amish community, so he runs away and Tobe, one of his many brothers, joins him. Will kn ...more
To leave one world for another which is so totally different than everything he's ever known is exciting for Will. He embraces his new "English" life completely, but his roots are still Amish. It's a struggle at times for him to successfully navigate through a marriage and fatherhood, but this is the life he's chosen. Despite the struggle, he does grow and mature and attempts to unite the two worlds. But most important to him, is to close the rift between he and his father, Levi.

I enjoyed travel
Carolyn Malone
Unnecessary use of derogatory term (Good Book though)

This is a very well written book. I do however, take issue with the use of the word "nxxxxx" in this book, because it was totally unnecessary to use it in this book, as it didn't go anywhere, and therefore was relevant to absolutely nothing! Be mindful of this, as well as derogatory terms like: hxxxx white trash, and such when writing books where that's not the setting!!!
Jun 03, 2010 Monica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: moms
Levis Will is a book steeped in tradition. It discusses lifestyles of different sects of Amish. It is about Will's, Levi's son's, journey through life and living with the choices that he has made.

I appreciated the discussion of forgiveness and the recognition that humans are just that... human and can err no matter what sort of pedestal they are placed on. It made me think about tradition in the secular churches and how much is necessary for "religion". Honesty, grief and parenting are also top
This book really struck many a chord with me - I"m not sure why. It's a story about family, forgiveness, dads and their relationships with their kids, husbands and wives, old world vs new world. It is well-told and while not a "thrilling" story as I would define thrilling, it had me spell-bound at times as I saw another's journey through life, encompassing and embracing failures and successes. Loved it!
Amy Johnson
Don't judge a book by its first sentence. If I had, I wouldn't have gotten past the first chapter, which was only about 3 pages long. A good read, probably better suited for winter. If anything in the book was true concerning the Amish, I learned a lot. I would recommend this Christian fiction book. Matter of fact, I will probably loan my copy out.
Narrator: George Guidall

Unusual treatment of a novel of an Amish 'deserter'. Interesting in part because I live in a different geographic area of Amish Country.
I enjoyed George Guidall's performance and the story itself. Parts of the book drug on a bit, but the overall treatment of Will as a fugitive from the sin he committed in his natal community, and the ultimate redemption and reconciliation both with God and his family was a very good 'read', listen.
The theological issues were examined
Kathy Barter
Levi's Will

I like to read books about families and how things can go wrong. Books of healing and restoration and what it means to be able to say, "I have my sister back" just makes an excellent book. The author post scrip was great. Thank you for writing this book!
Susan L. Curtin


This book was often extremely confusing.

There was absolutely no order with the story lines. The book was written with family history. but chronologically, it was totally mixed up!
Sarah Baumeister
Great book of love

This book is amazing at showing that God is love and forgives if only asked. The story of love between a man who was cast out for sin but welcomed back from it after seeing God love for him
So I work at a library reshelving and working the desk. One day I randomly was in the stacks putting books away and I passed by this book. I usually take a timeout for books that catch my eye even if I am working. I pulled off and read the back and was interested, put back on the shelf and told myself I would come back after work. Well it was after work, a couple weeks later. I liked this book right from the start. It was because I just liked it I gave it just 4 stars. I felt a little seperated ...more
Mary C Ford
Great book.

Great book.

I have known and eaten meals with the Amish..this and the fact that it is a nearly true story made it especially enjoyable to me.
I loved and hated this book. I thought about it long after I read it. That's all I'm going to say about it. Oh, and it's about an Amish family. Not a subject I read about very often.
The author seems to have great insight into the Amish culture and lifestyle. The central character in the book, Will, flees his Amish community (and his harsh, unforgiving father) at the age of 19, leaving behind a pregnant girlfriend. As a result he is completely shunned by his parents and family. He struggles to find his way in the outside world; joins the army, marries and fathers two sons. But he is haunted by his past. The author does a masterful job of interweaving the present with flashba ...more
While this certainly did provide an insightful look into Amish customs, it seemed to me that aspect of the story was a great vehicle for several meaningful messages. It was an interesting story, just on the merit of plot. But it was also a story with a message. Although it doesn't pound you over the head with it using a big, heavy iron mallet. Through the story the author conveys much about forgiveness, and communicates to the reader that each person's relationship with God is unique, and doesn' ...more
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also writes Amish genre under the name Dale Cramer
More about W. Dale Cramer...
Summer of Light Bad Ground Sutter's Cross

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