Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi's home in Israel. Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.
The only thing I did not like about this book is that sometimes things were
made too obvious/intentions were too clear. For instance, I love the idea of the last line. However, the execution felt
preachy, a bit **spoiler** bang-you-over-the-head-I'm-talking-about-Jesus *end spoiler*, in the way it was worded. It could have been done with more subtly and readers still
would have understood the message. I enjoy when authors let me discover connections on my own.
"Chance is God's way of showing up without making an announcement." - Boaz
I really liked the epilogue. I thought the author would go to where the last line of Boaz indicated, but the author brought in something completely unexpected, a time which was very significant in the Bible, and also poignant. It was also a good way to say goodbye to the characters.
"...in His hands difficulties have a way of yielding incomprehensible blessing. Joseph suffered unimaginable hours of torment and loneliness. Yet in the end, he saved a nation... Every moment of his suffering played a role in the future of Israel. He became the man he was in part due to those heartaches. You think the God who used Joseph's burdens for good can't turn the ashes of your pain into beauty?" - Ruth
I liked the focus: A love story that takes place after the loss of first loves. Its a great way to illustrate how God's work is never done, you are never abandoned, and there is always hope. The fears and insecurities of the main characters felt genuine, and the author developed the characters well. I felt connected to the time and place through Ms. Afshar's delicate descriptiveness. The author was very mindful of her plot construction. I enjoyed reading the Author's Notes at the end as she describes her choice of language. I agreed with her fictional embellishment choices as well with regards to the time period and characters. I also really like how the first word of her book is "death" and the last is "Christ." The book holds such a well-formed storyline and a lot of heartfelt messages.
"If I seem faithful to you, its because I have no choice. I need the sheer goodness and power of the Lord to make it through every hour." - Ruth
This book, despite its few moments of overt obviousness, was beautifully written. This is a lovely story that explores the depth of trust, love, and surrendering to the Lord. A great book for fans of Biblical history. Ruth is a minor-looking chapter in the Bible, but it holds so much for us to connect with. I enjoyed the exploration of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. I liked the minor characters who colored their lives. I liked the pacing (though the confusion between Ruth & Boaz regarding their feelings for one another, I think, went on one chapter too many).
I very much look forward to reading more from this author. She is great at character and plot building. She is able to saturate depth and emotions into her pages. Very well done!
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse