As Christian historical fiction, this is accurate in key details of the book of Ruth. The author weaves extra story in to help you understand the times not mentioned, from perspectives you might not usually think about. Highly recommended.
I found this book refreshing and delightful. I loved the interwoven stories of Naomi, Milcah, Boaz, and Ruth. The Bible characters were quite brought to life and given vivid personalities that personified their circumstances. Of course, Naomi is the central character and I immediately loved her and sympathized with her all through the book.
The title focuses on Naomi's relationships with Milcah and Ruth, both adopted daughters who bring Naomi great comfort and joy. I love the title "Hakamah" meaning "singer" that describes Naomi as a teller of the Bible stories so they were learned and passed down orally through generations.
The liberties the author has taken with the events and characters surrounding Boaz and the other kinsman-redeemer are humorous and add such a humanity to a well-known and beloved Bible story.
It certainly makes one think about how these people would have reacted to the events in their lives. I love how the author portrayed them. Makes a great discussion.
I was disappointed that a Christian novel contained vulgar words; I wondered if anyone had read it prior to publishing, and if so, why allow those words (yes, plural, several time). Since it was a novel, I could overlook all the inconsistansies in the story line. I had to force myself to finish it.
Most Christians are familiar with the story of Naomi, and her famous daughter in law, Ruth. Naomi is one of the few women whose story is told at some length in the pages of the Christian Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible. But as with so many other stories, many a reader has often wondered what it would be like to be there, living in Naomi's day. The story as found in Scripture is evocative and powerful, but it hints at so much more.
Storytellers have long sought to embellish and add life to the stories of the Bible. Walter Wangerin Jr. takes up his pen to weave a rich tale around the life of Naomi. His novel "Naomi and Her Daughters" covers many Biblical accounts and situates the characters in the story firmly in a believing Jewish context. And in his storytelling, Wangerin transports us to life in Palestine circa 1100 B.C.
Without giving away the plotline, I can say he imagines Naomi's life as a spiritual leader in the village of Bethlehem. He sees her adopting another daughter, whose story is recounted in another Old Testament book. He also recounts the tale of Boaz, finding him in other tales of Scripture. As the Biblical book of Ruth is situated before the accounts in Samuel and Kings, the mysterious period of the Judges must be its background. That era had its ups and downs and Wangerin traces the paths of the main characters through that turbulent period.
The book is a story of faith in a covenant keeping God -- and of long periods of doubt. It's a story of redemption and grace, and also the miseries of evil and suffering. War and peace, love and despair, bravery and cowardice, honor and depravity -- the juxtapositions of human experience find their place in this story. The technique the author uses of bouncing back and forth between the past and the present helps the reader experience the story vicariously with all its ups and downs.
Wangerin doesn't shy away from reading in between the lines and drawing out implications from the Scripture accounts. He puts psalms and Scripture promises in the mouths of the characters as well, and succeeds in bringing that day and age to life. In so doing, he runs the risk of interpreting accounts differently than the reader, but we will grant him this privilege. The history most likely didn't play out as he envisions it, and at times the tale is more earthy than some readers will want. But I believe he has captured the heart and spirit of the tale of Naomi most powerfully.
Naomi's tale has much relevance for our own day. Hers wasn't a rosy life free of thorns. Hers wasn't a happy-go-lucky faith detached from the realities of life in a sin-cursed and ever so fallen world. Her story is meant to inspire strong faith in a covenant-keeping God. Christians share Naomi's God and can have Naomi's faith. Sharing Naomi's life story will help us find that faith, and "Naomi and Her Daughters" will help us in this quest.
Disclaimer: A pre-published galley of this book was provided by Zondervan Publishing for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Really interesting book about Naomi from the Bible. She had no daughters so she found a little girl at the well where they got their water named Milcah. Naomi finds that she had just lost her mother and her father had buried her under their house, he was a tanner by trade. Milcah was so afraid but she was too small to raise the lid from the well to get her water as she knew what he father would do to her. Naomi befriended her and got Milcah to trust her until she finally begin to take care of her all the time. When Milcah was a little older she was murdered on her wedding night and a hand was sent back.
Then Naomi's husband and two sons are killed during the war and the only one she had left was her daughter-in-law Ruth.. The novel tells of Ruth's deep love for her mother-in-law.
Since Naomi and her Daughters is a fiction retelling of the Old Testament story, it does not follow the same as the original. Some of the characters and details are altered. As you know if you read the Bible, that Naomi had three daughters-in-law when her sons and husband were killed, and two of them went back home to their families but Ruth stayed with Naomi. The novel lets you see Naomi as she walks through the field and sees all the dead soldiers around her and even helps to bury them. As it takes place over a long period of time, Wangerin really pulled it all together.
This was a good read but a little hard to follow as it bounced around a little between the past and present but I found it to be a good book, as for me I love any Bible story.
I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.