In the Field of Grace   -     By: Tessa Afshar
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In the Field of Grace

Moody Publishers / 2014 / Paperback

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Recently widowed, Ruth is left with a broken heart, a barren womb, and an empty future. Yet she's determined not to let her "chosen mother," Naomi, starve---so accompanies her to Israel. When Ruth meets Boaz---a wealthy landowner---she expects no special treatment. But will Boaz lose his heart to this foreign woman with haunted eyes?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X 0.8 (inches)
ISBN: 0802410979
ISBN-13: 9780802410979
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description


Two women. Alone. With no provision. Can a woman who has lost everything, except her beloved mother, find hope in a foreign land?

Ruth leaves her home with  a barren womb and an empty future, after losing her husband. She forsakes her abusive parents and follows the woman she has grown to love as a true parent, her husband's mother, Naomi.

Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. She is destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. She is reduced to gathering leftovers once the harvesters have finished collecting grain from the field. A job only for the lowest of the low.

But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an unworthy outsider, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field-one of the wealthiest and most honored men of Judah-is showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz finds himself irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the dark, haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Obstacles. Heartache. Withered dreams. How can God forge love, passion, and new hope between two such different people?

Author Bio

TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, lived there for the first fourteen years of her life, and attended an English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full- and part-time Christian work.

Editorial Reviews

I had a long business trip and planned to scan In the Field of Grace while on the road.  Well, forget that - I was hooked from teh first page! This is an amazing narravtive. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Ruth and Boaz's story. The biblical account came alive as the love story of Ruth and Boaz unfolded. I feel blessed to have read this book. I devoured it, reading late into the night. - Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author

Packed with spiritual truth, impeccable research, and well-placed humor, In the Field of Grace takes your heart on a journey of love, loss, and triumph. This powerful retelling of Ruth and Boaz's story is my favorite novel this year.
- Mesu Andrews, author and ECPA Christian Book Award winner

Tessa Afshar is a brilliant writer and a beautiful soul. With a strong, poetic voice, Tessa brings biblical stories to life in a way that makes me want to kneel, pray, shout, and sing, all at the same time. In Tessa's lates novel, In the Field of Grace, she explores the story of Ruth and Boaz, their hardships and their breakthroughs. I finished the book feeling grateful again for God's intimate goodness and grace, and I remembered afresh how He sees us, loves us, and cares about every detail of our lives. Tessa crafts such beautiful books; I never want the stories to end! And the beautiful thing is these stories have the power to shape us and change us when we give God access to our own stories. I can't wait for the next book! - Susie Larson, national radio host, speaker, and author of Your Beautiful Purpose and The Uncommon Woman

Tessa Afshar offers readers one of the most cherished love stories from the Scriptures! Wonderfully researched, In the Field of Grace brings to life the tenderhearted and vulnverable Ruth, who is sure to captivate biblical fiction lovers!
- Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of The Genesis Trilogy and Dawnlight

The love story between Ruth and Boaz is reimagined with truths as timely today as they were thousands of years ago; reminders of faith, love, and the sovereignty of God. - Tracy L. Higley, author of The Queen's Handmaid

A beautifully told story that will truly capture your heart. A must read for biblical fiction fans! - Ginger Garrett, author of Chosen, Reign, and Desired


"Tessa writes Biblical fiction with a personal and scholarly background that makes her characters and plot convincing. Her novels feel like a cross between The Lineage of Grace series (Francine Rivers) and the Chronicles of the Kings series (Lynn Austin). Tessa's years working in women's ministry has given her valuable insight into a woman's psyche. All three novels demonstrate a true understanding of women's fears, insecurities, doubts, joys, and sorrows. She addresses these with sensitivity and sound advice spoken through other characters. The plots in her novels are biblically based, but they also include political intrigue and romance (not that the Bible is devoid of romance) that makes you stay up far to late reading "just one more page." Despite her MDiv and personal experience living in Iran, she always points the reader back to exploring the Biblical text instead of taking her word for events and traditions. In the Field of Grace is based on the biblical account of Ruth. Afshar adds detail to the intersecting stories of Boaz, a wealthy landowner in Bethlehem, and Ruth, a poor widow from Moab. Their love story is familiar, but I enjoyed the fictional (but plausible) nuances that Afshar draws out of their individual stories. It was intriguing to consider the circumstances of both Ruth and Boaz's lives before they met one another. I especially enjoyed the epilogue - a look at David's reaction to his great-grandmother's heritage.  Like in her other novels, Afshar is an expert at revealing wisdom through her character's dialogue. I underlined many truths about suffering and God's timing."

Reviewed by Emily Gardner, Aug 4, 2014


"Tessa Afshar has taken one of the most beloved stories in the Bible and alighted it on my heart once more. In the Field of Grace exemplifies how God delights in using the most unlikely people to fulfill His divine purposes. Through a series of seemingly unrelated events, Tessa Afshar reveals how the Lord begins to weave Ruth into the lineage of Israel. Ultimately He provides hope for the world through the union of Ruth and Boaz.

The opening chapters lay a strong foundation for the remainder of the story by opening a window into the lives of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi before their lives begin to intertwine. Over the course of the novel additional characters enrich and endear the story to its readers.

Just as I would envision Ruth of the bible, Tessa portrays her character as a humble servant - kind and compassionate. I was drawn to her light hearted humor that seemed to chase away the grief that she had to bear. She extended grace to those who mistreated her and won their affections through her selfless service to Naomi.

I particularly liked how the author created Boaz to be more than just a rescuer or romantic interest in the story. Written as a strong male character, Boaz is not exempt from fear and insecurities. He took interest in the lives of those who worked for him, acted honorably in his pursuit of Ruth, and personified a cheerful giver.

By virtue of it's delightful storytelling, biblical truths, and irresistible characters I give In the Field of Grace 4 stars. It will be available for purchase July 1, 2014 from River North Fiction, a division of Moody Publishers."

Reviewed by Amanda Geaney, May 28, 2014

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Ruth's Story, Unabridged
    March 11, 2015
    Pam Graber
    I confess I have always loved the biblical story of Ruth. I love the whole poor girl rich guy theme of the story. Tessa Afshars In the Field of Grace brings the story to life and fills in so many blanks in the biblical account that readers will think she was there to see them.

    Dirt poor and without hope in her home country, the widowed Ruth chooses to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to the land of Naomis birth. Naomi does everything she can to discourage Ruth but relents after Ruth gives her, Dont ask me to leave you! speech. Difficulties after hardship after danger dog their steps. They arrive in Bethlehem to a house that has been trashed by animals and a roof that gives glimpses of the sky above through the many holes that have developed in it. In spite of everything, Ruth does what she does best: persevere and trust the Lord. She learned early in her marriage to Naomis son, Mahlon, that the gods of the Moabites were ineffective and that the God of Israel was worthy of her trust.

    Ruth takes the responsibility of providing for her little family. She chooses a field to glean in where the workers seem happy and comes under the watchful eye of the fields owner, Boaz. Ruth captures his interest and a friendship develops. When they fall in love, neither can believe that the other could possibly be interested.

    Why was Ruth willing to leave the country of her birth and walk into the unknown with Naomi? What was it about Ruth that drew Boaz to her in the first place? How did this hated Moabite woman become one of the most loved in all of Judah?

    I love how the biblical story peeks through in this book. Its almost like the Bible is the Readers Digest Condensed version and In the Field of Grace is the unabridged version. It fills in and explains parts of the story that were always left to the imagination.

    This is a fairly quick read but well worth the time. Now I need to read "A Pearl In the Desert", Rahab's story. This one was fantastic!
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Field of Grace - Beautiful!
    March 2, 2015
    Carol
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Loved the use of God's Word applied throughout, speaking to my heart, mind and soul right where I am today - God is so good! Afshar's creative endings brought huge delight. I've read through the actual Book of Ruth over and over since with fresh insights. Thank you Tessa!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent!!
    January 25, 2015
    Debskel
    I loved this book... I am ordering more by Tessa Afshar right now!
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    great stand-out story
    December 17, 2014
    The NerdHerd Reads
    I've read quite a few Ruth stories, but this one still managed to seem different and unique and captivated me. I love my Biblical retellings, and this one was no different.

    I liked how this one veered from some of the other Ruth stories that are out there to stand out. I love how Afshar added in Boaz's first wife, which I hadn't seen before. I also liked how Afshar reimagined Ruth's growing up/family life as not-so-positive, which I also hadn't seen done before. And the epilogue, skipping all the way over to David and Solomon, was interesting and a great way to end the story.

    The writing style captured me from the beginning, and captivated me the whole way through. I liked how it switched perspectives from Boaz to Ruth, to add another dimension to the story. The culture was well researched, and made me feel like she knew what she was talking about, which I've always found important.

    I respect the creative license the author took with the story, as she still made it seem true and respectful to the Biblical account. I felt like Ruth and Boaz were real people, with real emotions and feelings, instead of just someone from so long ago, that we only hear stories about.

    Retelling a Bible story can be hard, but I think Afshar did a great job not only creatively but emotionally, bringing a new depth to the story.
  5. Haverhill MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Beautiful Story Lovingly Retold
    November 19, 2014
    Ellie
    Haverhill MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Tessa Afshar has captured the beauty and drama of the biblical story of Ruth the Moabitess, who chooses to cast her lot with her mother-in-law Naomi, the widow from Bethlehem. When Ruth herself becomes a widow, she accompanies Naomi back to her homeland and helps them survive by gleaning in the fields owned by a wealthy landowner, Boaz. The love story that grows out of this odd relationship is summarized in the books title, In the Field of Grace. Grace, the essence of the story of Ruth and Boaz, is recognized and felt on both sides.

    Boazs words to Ruth when they first meet come straight from the Bible. May the Lord repay you for what you have done [for your mother-in-law]. May the God of Israel, under whose wings you have some to take refuge, give you a full reward.

    Some fine writing shows up in this book. The first two sentences: Death squatted at Boazs door. He could sense its presenceinexorable, hungry, patient.

    When Naomi lines out her plan for Ruth to lay at Boazs feet on the threshing floor, she tells her daughter-in-law, You must be courageous, Ruth. There is a hazard to this plan. I dont deny it. You must risk exposure, perhaps even rejection. But Boaz is worth it. What was it you told Adin? Bear the cost of your love. It is your turn to do that for Boaz. . . .

    Picking up on Ruths well-known words to Naomi, Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, Naomi reminds Ruth. Another thing. You should understand that the Lord speaks these words to you. He is not sending you to Boazs presence alone. With every step you take toward that threshing floor, the Father of our people makes a promise to you. Where you go, I will go. He will not abandon you to go to Boaz by yourself. He will go with you. . . . He will give you His strength to do what you must. Do you understand?

    We know how the story ends. Ruth tells Boaz, You are my home. You and the Lord. Ive never been so happy, All I ever wanted was to belong. Naomi and her family gave me that. When death ripped it away, I thought I was done with joy. I thought the best I could do was to survive. Live another day. Then you came into my life and I learned to love in a deeper way. I thought death was the end of my dreams. But death led me to you.

    So much that is good in this book, but some of the action and dialogue felt contrived and lacked smooth, natural flow. The authors heart is in this story, however, and I believe readers will be caught up in the drama of this classic love story.
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