Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
“Your God used a woman to fulfill His plans for your people?”
“You never know who the Lord will use. Perhaps one day, it will be you, Ruth.”
No, In the Field of Grace by author Tessa Afshar isn’t the first novel I’ve read that retells the biblical story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Still, seeing as how this retelling is by the author of one of my all-time favorite books, Harvest of Rubies, I couldn’t pass this novel up.
Where the central love story is concerned, Ruth isn’t the only one who comes in with a backstory, and Boaz has his own inner challenges to face. He delivers my favorite quote from the novel, saying that “Chance is God’s way of showing up without making an announcement,” and Ruth’s glimpses of dry humor are what I liked most about her character.
I did have some trouble getting into the story, as some of the beginning events felt mostly obligatory, needing to be included to match the biblical account, of course, but they didn’t have much strength or depth beyond that. As the actual book of Ruth is just four chapters long, it’s only natural that much would have to be added for a retelling of this length, but while I thought the added material made for a pleasant read overall, much of it didn’t feel vital. Ruth’s, Boaz’s, and Naomi’s reflections on God are important for their characters, but the story began to feel lesson-heavy and redundant along the way.
Nevertheless, it’s a sweet and faith-filled novel that many more fans of Biblical Fiction should enjoy.