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Tessa Afshar’s In the Field of Grace


grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with
nothing to recommend her but Naomi’s, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide
enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But
God has other plans for her life.

everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a
widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign
woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his
Cousin Naomi’s chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from
harm, but his heart knows better.
Based on
the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that
ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole


I will admit that though Ruth is a phenomenal woman to read about in the Bible, her story is often retold and has since lost some of its luster. Here are my thoughts on Ms. Afshar’s version:

What I liked:

The best parts of the novel to me, were the parts that were of Afshar’s invention. Everything that was created outside of the Bible story, I found to be fascinating, particularly Boaz’s back story.

The fine details. The details of this book is what separates it from other retellings because it manages to bring Bethlehem and Moab to life, allowing the reader to really see what life must have been like in those times. With every Afshar novel, I find myself learning more and more unique things about the Jewish culture than I had not known.

The chemistry between Boaz and Ruth. It was so nicely done. You could see them falling for each other slowly, and also see what felt like, obstacles in their way.

I also liked the way that Ruth begins to win over the hearts of the Israelites, almost one day at a time.

Spiritually, Boaz has to learn to let go of his fear and place his trust in God and Ruth comes to know God in a real way.

What I didn’t like:

A lot of moments felt like they were almost verbatim from the Bible. And while that’s not a bad thing, I just found myself more or less drawn to the creative and unique tidbits of the novel that enhanced the Biblical narrative rather than the parts that were the Biblical narrative itself.  

Romantic Scale: 8

Overall, though not my favorite novel by Ms. Afshar, still a beautiful retelling.

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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