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.
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.
Another Awesome Biblical Fiction Novel by Tessa Afshar!!
November 15, 2014
I had been anticipating this book ever since I'd heard that Tessa Afshar was in the process of writing it. I'm a pretty big fan of Tessa Afshar's writing so I try to read all of her books as soon as possible! Ruth is also one of my favorite heroines in the Bible so to have a novelization of her story is like so AWESOME!!
I do love,love the book cover. It is absolutely stunning!!
At first, I couldn't really get into the story because it seemed to me that it did have a slow start in my opinion. I was starting to believe that I wouldn't enjoy the story as much as I did because of a sort of the slow beginning. I STRONGLY believe and love to see a gripping first chapter because then I know I will enjoy the book.
The story of Ruth is all about redemption and it's one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. I think that the author did a very good job of portraying the story of Ruth and Naomi's redemption and the love at first sight between Ruth and Boaz. I also love how the author gave Boaz a background story. His story in the novel was so heart wrenching and heart-gripping that it really drew me in. I was really amazed at how the author gave life to Ruth's story from when she came to work in Boaz' field to when she asked Boaz to be the kinsman redeemer. It was perfect!
I'm also a big fan of the 1960's movie,"The Story of Ruth" and this novel was almost a reminisce of the movie in some parts as well.
Aside from the seemly slow start to this novel,I really enjoyed reading this! This is another Biblical fiction novel well done by Tessa Afshar! I also enjoyed reading about the other characters such as Dinah and Adin in this novel as well.
This story was fantastic read! It was a very moving and powerful story. I highly recommend "In the Field of Grace" over all of the novelizations of Ruth's story that I've read. As soon as I had the time to settle down and read this story, I had finished it in about one night. I couldn't put it down! I truly enjoyed it and I'm in high anticipation of Tessa Afshar's next novel.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Moody Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review*
There's nothing like a good biblical fiction that makes you open your bible to read what's really written.
A beautiful retelling of the story of Ruth, (fictionally) filling in the gaps and giving you a better picture of how it may of played out. The author did a wonderful job writing all the characters in this book-they were well thought out.
Tessa did an amazing job writing biblical and historical facts into the book. I was pulled into the story right from the start, though it was a slower read (filled with details), and even though I obviously know how the story ends, this book held my interest to the very last page.
So in summery; this is a beautifully written story, with well rounded characters. I would definitely recommend this book. 5 out of 5.
In the Field of Grace is the retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth, but it is so much more. It is a tale of hope, faith when all hope is gone, releasing and trusting, and a lovely love story.
Anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows the story of Ruth a Moabite who marries into a Jewish family who has sought refuge in Moab to escape the famine in their land. When he husband dies, Ruth accompanies her widowed and now motherless mother-in-law back to Israel where she eventually finds a home for both herself and her mother-in-law. In the process of this, she finds love, acceptance, and a place in the lineage of Christ. Ruths loyalty and Naomis faith are held up as standards in the Christian faith.
Initially, I was only interested in reading this because it was written by Tessa Afshar. I have read all of her books and she has a unique storytelling ability. Many books have been written using Ruths story even some done in modern settings. But, because of Tessa Afshars Middle Eastern background, she has infused new life in this story. She portrays Ruth as a young woman who never knew love until she met Naomi and her family. Ruth never felt worthy until she accepted Gods view of her. Her loyalty and hard work to take care of Naomi really stand out as does her growing love for God. Naomi becomes so relatable as the grieving mother and wife who in her losses questions Gods care for her. Boaz becomes a very wise and godly man who uses his personal prosperity to minister to and care for many. It is no wonder that they are part of the heritage of Christ.
I received a copy of this from NetGalley for my honest review.