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In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar: A Book Review

In the Field of Grace
Author: Tessa Afshar
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: River North
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 304
Source: My State Public Library

Synopsis: Destitute, 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. While 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 world.


     My Review: In the Field of Grace is a retelling of the Book of Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite woman who is often neglected by her family. One day, an Israelite woman named Naomi strikes up a friendship with her and encourages her to marry her son, Mahlon. Ruth marries him and has a comfortable marriage. Mahlon teaches Ruth to read and write. When he and his brother die suddenly, Naomi decides to return to her homeland. Ruth leaves her home and false gods to follow Naomi into a foreign land.

    Ruth is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Ruth’s story is one of loyalty, compassion, and sacrifice. Mrs. Afshar’s Ruth is not only a faithful retelling of the Bible, but it also fills in some of the missing pieces in the story. We get a fleshed-out backstory of Ruth. In this story, Ruth feels like an outsider to her family. It is Naomi and Mahlon who makes her feel like she belongs. She is loyal to Naomi because she was the first woman who showed her kindness. It is because of Naomi’s goodness that Ruth is willing to make her sacrifice and live in a foreign land that is hostile to foreigners. I also like how Ruth was also such a hard worker who worked tirelessly to provide for herself and Naomi.

    I also like how Boaz was also a fully fleshed-out character. Boaz is a man who was burdened by the grief of the loss of his wife and children. However, he falls for Ruth because she also has known grief. It is through Ruth’s goodness and compassion that Boaz finally learns to love again. Even though they both have known loss, they are able to love one another and find faith in God.

      Overall, this novel is about loyalty, courage, and determination. The message of the book is to trust God. I found all the characters to be realistic. My favorite character was Dinah. She was a fun and snarky character. I liked how Mrs. Afshar made ancient Israel come alive. Even though this was a short novel, there were some parts of the book that I thought were drawn out. Nevertheless, In the Field of Grace is a light and sweet love story! I recommend this for fans of Ruth, Redeeming Grace, and Unshaken: The Biblical Story of Ruth!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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