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1 Stars Out Of 5
February 16, 2013
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I had a difficult time reading this book because the writing style was so "podunk" it made the characters come across as dull and uneducated. I found myself frequently getting lost in a sentence, and then having to go back and make sense of the vernacular. I didn't quite see the parallel with the Biblical book of Ruth...the details were inaccurate, and to throw in an adulterous affair to make Naomi seem more "current" did nothing to save the story. I found myself skimming by the time I was 2/3 of the way through, hoping to find an interesting thread. Two thumbs down.
I absolutely loved this book! Being a stream of consciousness book, it started out slowly, as stories of this type tend to do. But about halfway through, I couldn't put it down. I found the writing beautiful, with imagery I had to think about to fully absorb. The "questionable content" mentioned by others is neither graphic nor gratuitous, it is simply the fact of sin. How Ruth finds redemption from that sin and discovers the depth of the forgiveness extended to her transforms her life. The story was told so beautifully and movingly that I was sobbing at the end. I read this book almost two years ago and yet it has lingered with me--always the sign of a worthwhile book. I love that it has Christian themes without being preachy or churchy--also a hallmark of truly great literature.
The content of the novel was very appropriate and fitting. Lott took the liberty to loosely base the novel on the Biblical story, yet he revamped the original to show even more Biblical truths. To the readers who put the book down due to "questionable content," I am sorry that you missed the greatest truth of all. The picture of Eli and Naomi reflects Christ and His bride... us. Undeniably we have been unfaithful to our Savior. Naomi had entered into a marriage covenant and she broke it. At salvation, we enter into a covenant with the Lord... and we break it. Christians still betray the Lord despite their love for him. He knows this, yet he forgives us. He pulls us out of the bath water... of us trying to wash ourselves clean of our sin in our own effort and he forgives and he loves us. This is because Christ's love is not based on our actions, but on who we are! Lott demonstrates this beautifully. Eli chooses to love Naomi despite her actions, because of who she is... his beloved.
I am in charge of a book club and recommended this book to my club for July reading. I was very disappointed and found the writing very poor, tediously slow, and hard to follow. I was additionally disappointed when I continued reading only to find that Naomi had had an affair. This book was introduced as a modern-day story of Naomi and Ruth. Although fiction, the Bible never mentions this account and I felt incredibly uncomfortable recommending it as a read. I am in no way judging the characters, but find it very disturbing that the author mentions at the back of the book that Naomi "revealed" herself to him and he was surprised to learn of this information too...?? I love God's Word and always enjoy Francine Rivers Biblical fiction, but this was one read that I would not finish, and don't look forward to the book discussion I will be having at the end of this month.
I was disappointed to find that even though the story is a modern day story of the biblical book of Ruth, it does have inappropriate material that I would not think that Christian fiction would endorse. I did not get very far before I had to stop reading this book.