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5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent Biblical Historical Fiction!
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2018
The story of Ruth is one of my favorites in the Bible as it tells of love, loyalty and the favor of God resting on one that was not part of his chosen race. As a "gentile" by birth, I love that Ruth shows the grace of God even before Christ died for all, and so it is only fitting that she is one of the few women listed in the genealogy of Jesus. This book is a historical fiction account of the book of Ruth. What can be gleaned from the scriptures has been, and the author has done extensive research and opened up the world of this time in history to her readers. While the Bible telling makes it seem that the day after Ruth starts gleaning in the fields that Naomi encourages her to throw herself at Boaz, I like how the author pulled several months in between, allowing Ruth and Boaz to interact and get to know each other. I love the set-up the author used to bring Ruth into Naomi's life and the reasoning she had for staying loyal to Naomi and the Lord rather than her own people and her gods. While Ms. Afshar takes liberties in adding the fictional details, she is very careful to stay true to scripture and historical accuracy as possible, and her fictional details only added to my love of this familiar story and includes a surprising twist at the end that makes me wonder if that's what REALLY happened. The author's note at the end brought out the fact that the first word in the book was "death" and the last was "Christ", which was intentional as that is how our stories proceed as well. The story stayed true and added such depth to the characters and the backdrop. I loved the foreshadowing to the time of Christ as well. An excellent read if you enjoy Biblical Historical fiction!
In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is the romantic retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz. Their story appears in the small but powerful Bible book of Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite who is the youngest and forgotten daughter when she befriends Naomi and catches the eye of her son, Mahlon. The two marry and set up house with Naomi, his older brother Chilion and his young bride, Orpah. The small family is very happy until suddenly Mahlon and Chilion become ill and die. Naomi is left with one option, to return to her home in Bethlehem. Ruth is determined to follow her beloved mother in law to the ends of the earth if she had to and refuses to return to her parents even after Naomi pleads with her. When the two arrive in Bethlehem, they have very little to their name. Naomi tells Ruth about gleaning in the fields. Gleaning is when the poor pick up the shafts of wheat and barley that the harvesters drop. In order to keep them from starvation, Ruth decides to join the gleaners in the fields. The one she chooses belongs to Boaz, a distant cousin of Naomi, a kind and gentle man who all he can to help the less fortunate. He is immediately drawn to Ruth and finds himself making sure Ruth and Naomi have all they need to survive. He tells himself that his interest in Ruth is nothing more than repaying her love and kindness to his cousin, but will he open himself up to the truth? Will he and Ruth surrender to God’s will and plan for their lives? I have always loved the book of Ruth. I love the love story between Ruth and Boaz. A woman from a nation who was a hated enemy of Israel and a man with a strong stance in the community. God brings them together and from their son, Obed, comes King David and from David’s line is the Messiah, Jesus. Ms. Afshar once again brings a simple but magical story on its own and fills it with even more wonderful. In In the Field of Grace, the human sides of Ruth and Boaz become more real. Readers can see them as we are today, filled with doubts, pain, grief and uncertainty. Often you read a Bible story and it seems so obvious that the people in these stories would follow God and rewarded. But we do not realize that Ruth and Boaz had their own doubts, insecurities about their self-worth and God’s love for them. Ms. Afshar’s story opens the human side to these Biblical figures in a powerful way. I highly recommend In the Field of Grace.
In the Field of Grace is available in paperback, eBook and audiobook
4.0 out of 5 starsUplifting story of love and faith
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2019
"In the Field of Grace" by Tessa Afshar is a Christian fiction novel. It tells a fictionalised story of Ruth, that can be found is the Book of Ruth in the Scriptures. Tassa Afshar imagined Ruth's story with flourish and daring. There are many passages and pages referring to faith and trust.
The characters are challenged by circumstances and their own limitations. It was uplifting that after all they went through they were able to find love and friendship in unexpected places. Ruth was a kind, warm person and her dedication to her mother-in-law was exceptional. These two women, alone in the world, managed to create their own home and support each other. This book is also about second chances that we get in life.
It is a fourth novel by Tessa Afshar that I have read. I recommend it for fans of Christian fiction.
5.0 out of 5 starsAdds Satisfyingly To The Biblical Book
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2020
I have read the Biblical book of Ruth which is a beautiful story of love. Drawing from that knowledge, I read this fictional account with the added enjoyment of Ruth and Boaz given a more fleshed our story that the modern person could identify with. This story highlights faithfulness, perseverance, love, and compassion in a moving and realistic way that parallels the original. This is the first book I have read by the author, and now I am a fan. I look forward to reading Tessa Afshar’s fictional account of Rahab next.
5.0 out of 5 starsHealing for those who have lost loved ones.
Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2020
Tessa is an incredible writer with so many gifts for bringing a Biblical story to life. Tessa weaves many other Old Testament stories as a way to introduce Ruth to her new adopted religion. She then infuses attributes in her characters, creating a contemporary relevance that we translate for us today. Her insight on the circumstances surrounding the scene of Ruth going to Boaz made it very believable. In my book group, a woman who had lost two children found this an inspirational example of faith and healing regarding what Naomi went through. The use of quoted scripture for each chapter and within the story added to the Biblical references in a refreshing way. A wonderful read!
In the first few pages I had to convince myself to go on, continue to read in spite of the modern language the characters speak. I would have preferred it to be a bit more ancient sounding, but that is just personal preference. Also, the way Naomi's sons get to know each other with Ruth and Oprah was a bit hard to digest according to the time's customs this way would not be quite possible. However the more I read, the better I liked the story, was well worth reading.