Naomi and Her Daughters  -     By: Walter Wangerin Jr.
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Naomi and Her Daughters

Zondervan / 2010 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Melding biblical accuracy with imaginative detail, Wangerin explores themes of love, faith, grief, and community. While the widow Naomi mourns the deaths of her two adult sons and the shocking murder of a beloved adopted daughter, she ponders the plight of her Moabite daughters-in-law---and makes a decision that will change the course of history. 288 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 X 1.0 (inches)
ISBN: 0310327342
ISBN-13: 9780310327349
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

From master storyteller Walter Wangerin, Jr. comes this familiar biblical saga told in a fresh, transfixing way. You'll feel you've never heard it before! Melding historical accuracy with imaginative detail, Wangerin uses the biblical books of Judges and Ruth to explore themes of love, faith, grief and community set against a backdrop of war and political instability. The widow Naomi grieves the deaths of her two adult sons after the shocking murder of a beloved adopted daughter, while pondering her responsibilities toward her Moabite daughters-in-law. Ancient Israel is in chaos. When her daughter-in-law, Ruth, begs to return to Israel with Naomi, events are set in motion that will change the course of history. But wait...this isn't the tame, flannel graph story you heard in Sunday School. In the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent and Elissa Elliott's Eve: A Novel of the First Woman, Wangerin imbues his tale with strong female characters and an earthy realism that gives the timeless Old Testament narrative so much power. You'll find echoes of contemporary issues throughout: deceit, heartbreak, loss, war, and, of course, the power of love. Naomi's combined strength and tenderness becomes the pivot upon which a nation turns; her decisions ultimately lead to the founding of the family lineage of Jesus Christ. Breathtaking descriptions, shocking violence, and inspirational courage make this spellbinding novel by a beloved award-winning author a story you won't soon forget. It's the perfect novel for your book group, and a satisfying read for those who love thoughtful biblical fiction.

Author Bio

Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the millions. The author of over forty books, Wangerin has won the National Book Award, New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year Award, and several Gold Medallions, including best-fiction awards for both The Book of God and Paul: A Novel. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he is Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University. SPANISH BIO: Walter Wangerin Jr. es reconocido como uno del mejor escritor sobre las aplicaciones la fe y la espiritualidad. Su libros incluyen The Book of God [El libro de Dios], Reliving the Pasion [Recuerdo de la Pasion], Peter's First Easter [El Primer Domigo de Resureccionde Pedro], Mourning into Dancing [Como Cambiar el Lamento en Baile], The Manger is Empty [El Pesebre Vacio] y Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? [ Quien te hizo, Corderito?]. Wangerin vive en Valparaiso, Indiana, ocupa la catedra Jochum en la Universidad de Valparaiso, donde es escritor residente.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Naomi and Her Daughters by Walter Wangerin, Jr. is a fictional retelling of biblical events from the books of Judges and Ruth. Opening upon the recent brutal murder of Milcah, an abused motherless child whom Naomi unofficially adopted, the novel yo-yo’s between present and past events to reveal the tragic story of Naomi’s “first daughter” and the war that resulted. Toward the end of the novel, the focus shifts to the more uplifting, post-war story of Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law Ruth and her love story with Boaz.

Wangerin is an iconoclastic storyteller, which results in Naomi and Her Daughters reading differently from a typical novel. It is written in third person omniscient, and events and facts are told to the reader instead of the reader discovering them within the plot and living vicariously through the action. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to connect with the characters and, thus, the story. Lacking in plot, the novel consists of scenes strung together, while constant time changes coupled with the sudden switch from one character to the next adds confusion. Several random Bible stories are injected throughout the novel, but they lack correlation to the current text.

Although based on Scripture, this is a dark novel, wherein God is portrayed as a far-away, almost unfeeling deity. Despite God’s favor returning to Naomi at the novel’s conclusion, it doesn’t alter the sense of distance from God felt throughout the book. The novel contains graphic violence and gratuitous vulgarities, thirty-five swear words (ten coupled with God’s name, which is also used as an explicative on its own), and countless extremely sexually provocative sayings and descriptions.

Any reader of Naomi and Her Daughters would most likely need a previous understanding of Old Testament figures and events, whereas those who do have the knowledge are less than likely to sit through such vulgarity. With small exception, the story as a whole is extremely depressing and, quite honestly, often offensive. – Emily J. Morgan, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

4 1/2 stars! Wangerin draws reader into the life of a woman marred by sorrow, bitterness and loss. The remarkably vivid and sometimes graphic scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Characters and scenes leap from the page as readers get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters we thought we knew. SUMMARY: The life of Naomi begins with a daughter we never knew about. When the news of Milcah's death is heard throughout the tribes of Israel, a war breaks out. When famine hits Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband and their two sons move to Moab, where bitterness and loss sear her soul. Naomi returns to Bethlehem as much different person. And it is in Bethlehem where we see the hand of God perform his greatest miracle yet. -- Romantic Times


4 1/2 stars! Wangerin draws reader into the life of a woman marred by sorrow, bitterness and loss. The remarkably vivid and sometimes graphic scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Characters and scenes leap from the page as readers get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters we thought we knew. SUMMARY: The life of Naomi begins with a daughter we never knew about. When the news of Milcah's death is heard throughout the tribes of Israel, a war breaks out. When famine hits Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband and their two sons move to Moab, where bitterness and loss sear her soul. Naomi returns to Bethlehem as much different person. And it is in Bethlehem where we see the hand of God perform his greatest miracle yet. -- Romantic Times


4 1/2 stars! Wangerin draws reader into the life of a woman marred by sorrow, bitterness and loss. The remarkably vivid and sometimes graphic scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Characters and scenes leap from the page as readers get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters we thought we knew. SUMMARY: The life of Naomi begins with a daughter we never knew about. When the news of Milcah's death is heard throughout the tribes of Israel, a war breaks out. When famine hits Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband and their two sons move to Moab, where bitterness and loss sear her soul. Naomi returns to Bethlehem as much different person. And it is in Bethlehem where we see the hand of God perform his greatest miracle yet. -- Romantic Times


4 1/2 stars! Wangerin draws reader into the life of a woman marred by sorrow, bitterness and loss. The remarkably vivid and sometimes graphic scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Characters and scenes leap from the page as readers get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters we thought we knew. SUMMARY: The life of Naomi begins with a daughter we never knew about. When the news of Milcah's death is heard throughout the tribes of Israel, a war breaks out. When famine hits Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband and their two sons move to Moab, where bitterness and loss sear her soul. Naomi returns to Bethlehem as much different person. And it is in Bethlehem where we see the hand of God perform his greatest miracle yet. -- Romantic Times


4 1/2 stars! Wangerin draws reader into the life of a woman marred by sorrow, bitterness and loss. The remarkably vivid and sometimes graphic scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Characters and scenes leap from the page as readers get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters we thought we knew. SUMMARY: The life of Naomi begins with a daughter we never knew about. When the news of Milcah's death is heard throughout the tribes of Israel, a war breaks out. When famine hits Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband and their two sons move to Moab, where bitterness and loss sear her soul. Naomi returns to Bethlehem as much different person. And it is in Bethlehem where we see the hand of God perform his greatest miracle yet. -- Romantic Times

Product Reviews

2.9 Stars Out Of 5
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(2)
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(4)
Quality:
3.5 out Of 5
(3.5 out of 5)
Value:
3.8 out Of 5
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2.7 out Of 5
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  1. Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting adaptation of Naomi, Ruth, Boaz
    August 29, 2013
    Cora
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    While this novel is an interesting adaptation of the book of Ruth, I found it unnecessarily crude in parts.
  2. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    imaginary twist to a well loved story, but lacking
    August 29, 2013
    loves clean fiction
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I was hoping to enjoy a "times-in-the-life-of" type story about Naomi and Ruth. Although it gives a fascinating idea of what it was like to live then, the characters are not the honest and chaste characters of the Bible. Many are self-serving, greedy, and lack respect for others. The bad language was so frequent as to be offensive.

    When I choose Christian fiction, I expect a break from offensiveness. If I want selfishness and offensive and disrespectful language, I just need to step out into the world.
  3. Roseville, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not the author's best book
    July 15, 2013
    Sandy Nelson
    Roseville, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I enjoyed the read, but it wasn't up to par with say his book "Paul." I expected more from this author.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Entertaining
    June 7, 2013
    Robert Shipley
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A bit of a twist on the story of Ruth, but believable. Anyone who loves historical fiction would be entertained by this novel.
  5. Pennsylvania
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    April 26, 2013
    Shirley
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 1
    A very disappointing book. I expected to read the story of Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. Instead a large portion of the book was about an adopted daughter of Naomi. The protrayal of Naomi and Ruth lacked the dedication, love and support found in the Biblical account: instead it was one of schemeing, trickery and self centeredness . Boaz was a head strong lad who was old when he met Ruth. Naomi was a mean, crochety, controlling old lady and Ruth just did what she was told. Missing were the love, dedication, and support these two women had for each other . This book was such a disappointment I put it in the paper recyling box! I would not give it to anyone to read -not those who know the Biblical account and especially NOT those who do not. The quality and value of the book were excellent the content was very poor
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