In the Field of Grace

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Overview


Two women. Alone. With no provision. Can a woman who has lost everything, except her beloved mother, find hope in a foreign land?

Ruth leaves her home with  a barren womb and an empty future, after losing her husband. She forsakes her abusive parents and follows the woman she has grown to love as a true parent, her husband's mother, Naomi.

Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but ...

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Overview


Two women. Alone. With no provision. Can a woman who has lost everything, except her beloved mother, find hope in a foreign land?

Ruth leaves her home with  a barren womb and an empty future, after losing her husband. She forsakes her abusive parents and follows the woman she has grown to love as a true parent, her husband's mother, Naomi.

Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. She is destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. She is reduced to gathering leftovers once the harvesters have finished collecting grain from the field. A job only for the lowest of the low.

But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an unworthy outsider, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field-one of the wealthiest and most honored men of Judah-is showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz finds himself irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the dark, 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.

Obstacles. Heartache. Withered dreams. How can God forge love, passion, and new hope between two such different people?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
Afshar (Pearl in the Sand) dramatizes the story of Ruth in her fourth novel of historical fiction. In fleshing out Ruth’s character, Afshar portrays the young Moabite as a downtrodden sibling, mistreated by her sisters and a disappointment to her parents. Ruth’s oppressive home life may diminish the sacrifice she later makes to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Israel. Despite her devotion to Naomi, Ruth encounters rejection and indifference in Bethlehem. Naomi’s grief renders her practically catatonic, and Ruth is left to provide in both matters of finances and faith. Boaz, a wealthy landowner and cousin of her father-in-law, finds Ruth gleaning in his fields, and the widower takes an immediate interest in her, bringing hope to the young widow’s sad existence. Afshar does remain true to the basic premise of the biblical account. Yet her suppositions in the depiction of Ruth’s backstory, and Boaz’s gallant rescue of the damsel in distress, have more in common with the story of Cinderella than the story of the Bible. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency. (July)
From the Publisher

I had a long business trip and planned to scan In the Field of Grace while on the road.  Well, forget that - I was hooked from teh first page! This is an amazing narravtive. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Ruth and Boaz's story. The biblical account came alive as the love story of Ruth and Boaz unfolded. I feel blessed to have read this book. I devoured it, reading late into the night. - Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author

Packed with spiritual truth, impeccable research, and well-placed humor, In the Field of Grace takes your heart on a journey of love, loss, and triumph. This powerful retelling of Ruth and Boaz's story is my favorite novel this year.
- Mesu Andrews, author and ECPA Christian Book Award winner

Tessa Afshar is a brilliant writer and a beautiful soul. With a strong, poetic voice, Tessa brings biblical stories to life in a way that makes me want to kneel, pray, shout, and sing, all at the same time. In Tessa's lates novel, In the Field of Grace, she explores the story of Ruth and Boaz, their hardships and their breakthroughs. I finished the book feeling grateful again for God's intimate goodness and grace, and I remembered afresh how He sees us, loves us, and cares about every detail of our lives. Tessa crafts such beautiful books; I never want the stories to end! And the beautiful thing is these stories have the power to shape us and change us when we give God access to our own stories. I can't wait for the next book! - Susie Larson, national radio host, speaker, and author of Your Beautiful Purpose and The Uncommon Woman

Tessa Afshar offers readers one of the most cherished love stories from the Scriptures! Wonderfully researched, In the Field of Grace brings to life the tenderhearted and vulnverable Ruth, who is sure to captivate biblical fiction lovers!
- Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of The Genesis Trilogy and Dawnlight

The love story between Ruth and Boaz is reimagined with truths as timely today as they were thousands of years ago; reminders of faith, love, and the sovereignty of God. - Tracy L. Higley, author of The Queen's Handmaid

A beautifully told story that will truly capture your heart. A must read for biblical fiction fans! - Ginger Garrett, author of Chosen, Reign, and Desired

"Tessa writes Biblical fiction with a personal and scholarly background that makes her characters and plot convincing. Her novels feel like a cross between The Lineage of Grace series (Francine Rivers) and the Chronicles of the Kings series (Lynn Austin). Tessa's years working in women's ministry has given her valuable insight into a woman's psyche. All three novels demonstrate a true understanding of women's fears, insecurities, doubts, joys, and sorrows. She addresses these with sensitivity and sound advice spoken through other characters. The plots in her novels are biblically based, but they also include political intrigue and romance (not that the Bible is devoid of romance) that makes you stay up far to late reading "just one more page." Despite her MDiv and personal experience living in Iran, she always points the reader back to exploring the Biblical text instead of taking her word for events and traditions. In the Field of Grace is based on the biblical account of Ruth. Afshar adds detail to the intersecting stories of Boaz, a wealthy landowner in Bethlehem, and Ruth, a poor widow from Moab. Their love story is familiar, but I enjoyed the fictional (but plausible) nuances that Afshar draws out of their individual stories. It was intriguing to consider the circumstances of both Ruth and Boaz's lives before they met one another. I especially enjoyed the epilogue - a look at David's reaction to his great-grandmother's heritage.  Like in her other novels, Afshar is an expert at revealing wisdom through her character's dialogue. I underlined many truths about suffering and God's timing."

Reviewed by Emily Gardner, Aug 4, 2014

"Tessa Afshar has taken one of the most beloved stories in the Bible and alighted it on my heart once more. In the Field of Grace exemplifies how God delights in using the most unlikely people to fulfill His divine purposes. Through a series of seemingly unrelated events, Tessa Afshar reveals how the Lord begins to weave Ruth into the lineage of Israel. Ultimately He provides hope for the world through the union of Ruth and Boaz.

The opening chapters lay a strong foundation for the remainder of the story by opening a window into the lives of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi before their lives begin to intertwine. Over the course of the novel additional characters enrich and endear the story to its readers.

Just as I would envision Ruth of the bible, Tessa portrays her character as a humble servant - kind and compassionate. I was drawn to her light hearted humor that seemed to chase away the grief that she had to bear. She extended grace to those who mistreated her and won their affections through her selfless service to Naomi.

I particularly liked how the author created Boaz to be more than just a rescuer or romantic interest in the story. Written as a strong male character, Boaz is not exempt from fear and insecurities. He took interest in the lives of those who worked for him, acted honorably in his pursuit of Ruth, and personified a cheerful giver.

By virtue of it's delightful storytelling, biblical truths, and irresistible characters I give In the Field of Grace 4 stars. It will be available for purchase July 1, 2014 from River North Fiction, a division of Moody Publishers."

Reviewed by Amanda Geaney, May 28, 2014

Library Journal
06/15/2014
This retelling of the biblical story of Ruth follows the young Moabite, newly widowed, childless, and without family, as she accompanies her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Israel. Life is hard as Ruth works long hours in the fields to keep both herself and Naomi from starving. Being an immigrant from Moab in Israel has its own challenges, and Ruth's faith in God's plan is tested severely many times. Finally, she is rewarded with the attention of Boaz, the owner of the field in which she works and one of the most respected men of Judah. VERDICT Afshar (Pearl in the Sand) evenly strikes a balance between the protagonist's faith in God and her own skills in surviving her trials. Fans of Bodie and Brock Thoene and Anita Diamant will enjoy this sumptuous historical saga that is also a stirring romance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802410979
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 108,250
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, lived there for the first fourteen years of her life, and attended an English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full- and part-time Christian work.
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Read an Excerpt

In the Field of Grace

A Novel


By Tessa Afshar, Pam Pugh

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Tessa Afshar
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-8983-8


CHAPTER 1

FIVE YEARS LATER

* * *

To whom do you belong? And where are you from? 1 SAMUEL 30:13

Everyone in the city of Kir-hareseth seemed to have descended upon the marketplace, making final purchases before the stalls closed down. Crowds. Why couldn't they just stay home? Ruth tried to ignore the jostle of too many bodies. Dragging a perspiring hand down her worn tunic, she took a deep breath to steady her jangled nerves; the scent of sweat covered thinly by oily perfumes hit her with the force of a blow.

Ruth's mother had sent her to buy dates. She eyed the mounds of brown sticky fruit in a stall, trying to calculate how to get the best price so she could avoid one of her mother's blistering set downs. Bending forward, she picked one and examined it with intensity. It looked like a date to Ruth, which exhausted the breadth of her knowledge on the topic. About to open her mouth to ask for the price, she was surprised when a gentle hand caressed her arm.

"You can find better," a soft voice whispered in her ear. Startled, Ruth turned to find the source of the advice. The woman was in her middle years, with smooth skin and thick grey hair that peeked from beneath her ivory headdress. Her faded blue tunic appeared clean, the only good thing that could be said for it. The leather of her sandals, visible beneath her ankle-length tunic, showed signs of long wear.

Brown eyes sparkled at her. "What a lovely young woman. May the Lord bless you, child."

Compliments and Ruth did not go together. Certainly, no one had ever called her lovely. Her eldest sister was the acknowledged beauty of the family. Ruth was the last born and the Great Disappointment. The last chance at her parents' hope for a son, unfulfilled.

Too tall. Too quiet. Too female.

"Pardon?" she said, fumbling with the empty cloth bag she held, trying unsuccessfully to swallow.

"Forgive me. My sons tell me I am too free with my tongue. But you are such a pretty creature, I had to tell you."

Ruth gaped at her like one of the cows of Bashan.

The stranger flashed a wide smile, displaying a full set of startlingly white teeth. "I've embarrassed you. I'm sorry. We are more forthright with our thoughts in Israel. I've never lost the habit."

That explained the odd lilting accent. And the strange blessing she had given Ruth. What had she said? The Lord. Not Chemosh, but the Lord bless you. "You are an Israelite," Ruth said, forcing her tongue around the words.

"Yes. My sons and I have lived here for some years. We came when Bethlehem went through a famine and we feared we might starve. My husband was with us then, but he died of a wasting disease some years ago."

"That must have been hard to bear," Ruth said. "Having to raise your sons alone and in a foreign land."

"Hardest thing I've ever done. But the Lord has seen us through."

Ruth, who knew nothing about this Lord other than a vague recollection that He was the deity worshiped in Israel, gave a short nod.

"I am Naomi. Naomi of Bethlehem, in Judah. And you, my sweet girl? What do they call you?"

"Ruth."

"Ruth." Naomi nodded. "I like it. Have you brothers and sisters?"

"Four sisters, all older."

Naomi raised her brows and made a gentle humming sound in her throat. An odd silence settled over them; Ruth felt the crowds receding from her senses, their incessant sounds and smells muted. She had a strange notion that the woman had gazed into her life and seen it, known its pains and sorrows, just from that one sentence. As if Naomi knew that four older sisters meant Ruth had grown up invisible. Unwanted. Never quite managing to please anybody.

Yet she had uttered no words. Just that gentle humming in her throat.

As if coming to a sudden decision, Naomi said, "You must come to my home and share supper with us. My sons will be delighted to meet you."

Ruth's jaw dropped open. "I ... thank you. But I must buy dates. For my mother."

"Ah. Try that stall over there. Mesha is almost an honest man. And his fruit is fresh. Don't let him pick for you, though. Insist on picking the ones you want. He'll grumble, but pay no mind. Your mother will be happy with what you bring home."

You don't know my mother.

"That's kind of you. Thank you, Naomi."

Before Ruth settled on a price with the vender Naomi had recommended, the woman herself showed up again, stationing herself at Ruth's side. "Come, Mesha. What kind of price is that for a daughter of Moab? You can do better."

Mesha complied by lowering his price a fraction. Ruth, who had no talent for haggling, gave the Israelite woman a grateful smile. "For once I'm returning from the market with a decent purchase. Not only do I thank you, my whole family thanks you."

Naomi laughed. Ruth liked the sound of it, clear and pleasing, without drawing needless attention. She could imagine the hardships of the woman's life. And yet Naomi had not lost her ability to find joy in small things.

"Will you come and visit me after you deliver the dates to your mother? It's only my sons and me, and our house is simple. But you would be most welcome. I'll give you supper and afterward walk you home so you won't have to worry about finding your way in the dark."

Ruth felt her skin turn warm as blood rushed to her cheeks. "I would like to."

Naomi patted her hand and told her how to find her house.

Before delivering the dates to her mother, Ruth hid two of the plumpest in her sash. For once, her mother had no sour comments when she examined her daughter's purchase. It never occurred to Ruth to expect praise for her success. Praise and her mother were not frequent companions. Not when it came to the woman's fifth daughter.

"Where is Grandfather?" Ruth asked.

"Where else? Slumbering on his mat as usual, expecting everyone to take care of his lordship."

Ruth flushed at her mother's bitter complaint. The only true kindness Ruth had received growing up was at the hand of her grandfather. Though everyone else in her family had found her wanting, her father's father acted as though Ruth were the most precious member of his brood.

In fond remembrance, Ruth fingered the luxurious linen sash tied at her waist. The old man had bought it for her years ago, after Ruth's sisters had teased her more mercilessly than usual. Unable to bear their mean words another moment, she had run into the field behind their house and hidden through the night, shedding her tears in private. No one had bothered to try to find her. Except Grandfather.

Late the following morning he had come upon her, crouching in order to see into her eyes. "There you are. I've been looking everywhere for you."

"I was here."

"So I see."

"Is Mother very angry?"

"No more than usual, shall we say? So long as you finish your chores, I believe she will grow calm. Now, I have a present for you."

"For me?"

"Yes, indeed. Because you are my adorable granddaughter and I am proud of you." He proffered the most exquisite sash Ruth had ever seen. It had white and dark blue stripes, with lighter blue flowers embroidered through the edges.

She gasped. "This must have cost a fortune."

The old man smiled. "It did. And you are worth it."

Ruth let the memory fade, blinking back tears.

The grandfather she held dear had disappeared in the past few years. His mind had grown dim with time. Often he didn't seem to recognize any of them. He had grown tangled in a shadow world, isolated, unable to grasp the ordinary things of life. He was with them and yet lost to them.

Ruth knelt by his mat and caressed his shoulder with a light hand. His eyes opened, faded and unfocused.

"I have a present for you, Grandfather." Ruth handed him one of the dates, trying to keep the exchange hidden from the rest of the room with her slim body.

The withered man stared at the date in the palm of his hand, his expression blank. "Put it in your mouth," Ruth encouraged. "It's sweet." She moved his hand toward his mouth, and obediently he took a bite.

He made a small sound of appreciation. "I told you you would like it," she whispered. "Don't let Mother catch you, or there will be great gnashing of teeth."

A smile broke on the old man's face and for a moment he looked like his old self, understanding and humor twinkling in the filmy eyes. Sometimes lucidity broke over him like the summer rains, sudden and inexplicable, and he became again the man she loved and missed like part of her own heart. But those moments were growing rarer with each passing day.

"Oh Grandfather." Ruth gave him a hard embrace; by the time she moved away, the empty look had taken the place of the momentary clarity. Ruth's shoulders slumped. Gently, she fed him the last date before leaving his side.

Her mother made no demur when Ruth spoke of her intention to visit Naomi. In truth, no one cared much if Ruth remained in the house or left it for hours, so long as she fulfilled her endless list of duties.

Ruth enjoyed the walk to Naomi's house. The streets were empty save for a few children lingering late to play one last game before being called home. It was her favorite time of day, just before twilight when the world became more still, when the intense bustle of the day drew to a close and the noise of the rushing crowds ceased.

The sycamore door to Naomi's house stood open, revealing one narrow room, the only chamber that the house boasted. The high lattice windows had been thrown open, allowing the pale, dying rays of the sun into the chamber, giving the place a cheery look. A few handwoven mats covered most of the bare, earthen floor, and two cushions with faded weaving sat against the far wall. A cluttered cleanliness marked the small space.

Ruth felt an odd peace as Naomi welcomed her inside. She could not explain it. But here, in this stranger's home, she felt more settled than she ever had in the house where she had spent her whole life.

Naomi took her hand and drew her farther into the chamber. "Aren't you tall? I have to tip my head back to look into your eyes."

Ruth bit her lip and lowered her face. Her height had been a source of unrelenting shame since she had turned ten and, without warning, grown into a pole. She managed to be taller than everyone in her family, even her father. Her sisters tormented her with names like tree trunk and rooftop.

Naomi gasped. "Oh my dear, I meant it as praise. You are like a willow, soft and full of grace. In Israel, tall women are much admired."

Then I should have been born in Israel. But she swallowed the words.

"Sit down here, dear Ruth. The cushions have gone flat, I'm afraid."

Ruth sat, tucking her feet up to the side of her hip, arranging her loose tunic to cover her toes. "They are very comfortable."

"My sons aren't home from the field yet. They leave early and return late. Poor lads. Their work is hard. We'll eat when they come. Do you like lentils?"

"My favorite," Ruth said, as if she didn't have to eat them every day. "May I help you with the bread?" Before Naomi could respond, she rose to go to her. Naomi was making cakes of dough with ground barley flour, and after rinsing her hands with water, Ruth took a large handful to knead.

"Such light flour," she said, allowing admiration to color her voice. She knew the effort it took to grind the barley grain into a fine powder. With Naomi the sole female occupant of her house, she could not share the burden of grinding with another woman, which would allow her to use a larger, more efficient hand mill.

Naomi smiled. "I fear I'm vain when it comes to my cooking. So if you want to win my heart, you've started on the right foot."

Another compliment? Ruth was losing count of them. She looked down and kneaded harder.

"The stone is hot. As soon as Mahlon and Chilion return home, we will bake the bread, so we can have hot barley cakes with our soup. Won't they be surprised to see you?"

Ruth gave Naomi a sharp look from under her lashes. "So you don't bring the daughters of Moab to supper every day?"

The older woman dissolved into peals of laughter. She wiped a hand against her cheek, leaving a white trail. "Not every day, no. But a woman with two unmarried young sons can't sit about doing nothing. The boys toil in the fields of their master most of the day long. What chance have they of meeting eligible young women?"

Eligible young women? Unmarried sons? What had she entangled herself in? Ruth swallowed a deep breath and pointed to Naomi's face. "You have flour smudged on your cheek."

Naomi lifted a cloth to wipe away the smudge of flour.

"I don't think this will work." Ruth tried to keep the panic out of her voice. The thought of meeting two strange men for the express purpose of being weighed as a possible bride turned her stomach into a big knot. They would only reject her. "Perhaps I should go home." She started to wipe her hands on the cloth next to her when the sound of conversation made her freeze mid-swipe. She frowned as she heard a feminine voice, softly responding to a man's comment.

The older woman spun toward the open door, her hands fluttering in the air.

"Mother, we have brought you a guest," said the shorter of the two young men. "This is Orpah. We met her at the field and asked her to supper. She ... She ..." His voice trailed as he spotted Ruth.

Naomi broke the tension by bursting into peals of laughter. "The Lord be praised. I have also asked my friend Ruth to supper. What a blessed night, to have two new friends join us."

Ruth gulped. It would be offensive to leave now. She would have to stay and see the evening through. At least the other girl, Orpah, would share the burden of attention. She was a pretty girl, no older than seventeen, with rounded cheeks and thick, long black lashes.

They sat on the floor around a well-used mat to eat supper. When Naomi introduced her sons, Ruth did not even lift her chin far enough to see which name belonged to whom. She busied herself with dipping her warm bread into the bowl of aromatic lentils and listened carefully to the conversation flowing around her.

Her attention strayed to Orpah as the girl fanned her face. "I can't abide the heat. This afternoon, I thought my head would bake in my headdress and drop right into the field. That would have been a mess. Knowing the foreman, he would have made me clean it up myself."

Ruth laughed, her outstretched hand forgotten where she had moved to dip her bread into the olive oil. To her surprise, her fingers bumped into solid flesh. She raised startled eyes and collided with a warm brown gaze.

CHAPTER 2

A friend loves at all times. PROVERBS 17:17

His skin shone pale as bleached ivory against his dark beard. It was his smile that first caught Ruth's attention. His mouth, too wide for beauty, softened his otherwise ordinary face into the sort of friendliness that made her feel welcomed to the soles of her feet. As if she had known him for years. And she could not even tell his name! Mahlon or Chilion?

Guessing her thoughts, he said, "Mahlon."

With a sudden jolt, she found herself wanting to giggle. "I was going to guess Chilion," she confessed.

"I forgive you. Which is generous of me, considering when we were introduced, you disdained to look upon me even once."

"I thought it polite not to stare."

"Don't worry. I did enough staring for us both."

Ruth felt the rhythm of her pulse speed, making her breathless. "I don't think your mother has the measure of you."

The wide mouth flashed another winsome smile. "How so?"

Ruth nibbled on her lower lip, caught between laughter and embarrassment. "She believes you are helpless and lonesome. I think you know your way around many a Moabite maiden's heart."

He shook his head, looking tragic. "I hardly know any Moabite maidens."

"How many?"

"Counting you and Orpah? Two."

Chilion, overhearing his brother, shoved a shoulder into his brother's arm. "Not for lack of trying."

* * *

Naomi and Mahlon walked Ruth most of the way home. They finally turned back when she pressed them, just before she arrived at her house. As the outdoor enclosure of her home came into view, Ruth could hear the screech of her mother's raised voice. Frowning, she picked up her steps. Though her mother's temper bore a legendary sting, it rarely grew so noisy as to rouse the interest of the neighbors.

She shoved open the door, which someone had had the forethought to close. A wave of nausea pressed in on her as the scene inside unfolded.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar, Pam Pugh. Copyright © 2014 Tessa Afshar. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Tessa Afshar is a gifted writer whose stories exemplify what I h

    Tessa Afshar is a gifted writer whose stories exemplify what I hope for when I pick up a Christian fiction book, and that is the skillful communication of spiritual truths in a way that entertains while inspiring and encouraging me to grow in my faith. Drawing from what is familiar to many, Tessa fleshes out the Old Testament story of Ruth with rich characterization, emotional romance, historical background, and spiritual depth. The four chapters of Ruth are combined with a moving fictional narrative in a way that doesn't take away or change the biblical account. For an even richer experience, I recommend reading the book of Ruth both before and after reading In the Field of Grace.




    There was nothing about the portrayal of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz that felt unrealistic; in fact, the very opposite was true, because they felt real. It was easy to sense the depth of Naomi's despair and anger over her losses, why Ruth was willing to leave her family and religion of idolatry, and the incredible goodness of Boaz - who, as a kinsman redeemer, becomes a picture of Christ. 




    Failing to be the son her parents hoped for, Ruth grew up unwanted, invisible, and with constant criticism - whereas in Naomi's family, she found extravagant, undeserving approval. Ruth wasn't wildly in love with Mahlon, but "he drew her like a shepherd's fire on a freezing desert night. . . . Being with Naomi's family was like an antidote to the bitterness of her own relations." Watching Ruth respond to the call of God on her heart and cling to her faith is very moving.




    I really liked seeing the character of Boaz fleshed out, because I've never had a clear image of what he might have been like. Wealthy, middle aged, highly respected, generous and caring, with a soft spot for those in need - and we see the great insight Boaz has into the human heart in the scene with the crippled boy, Eli, one of my favorite parts.




    Our pastor recently took us through a sermon series where we looked at the stories of biblical characters and events (the lower story), then how God's hand could be seen throughout (the upper story). That's exactly what Tessa brings out so clearly with In the Field of Grace. So many spiritual themes spoke to me - important themes I've known all my life, but constantly need to be reminded of. For instance, that God always has a plan for our lives and obedience is key . . . even if we don't receive the desires of our heart, we can find contentment in Him . . . every person has extreme value in God's sight . . . no sorrow is ever wasted in God's hands.




    Tessa knows the ways of God and conveys them beautifully through her writing. I'm impressed not only with Tessa's writing skills, but her heart. God looks for those who have a heart for Him, whose hearts beat for Him, and that's what Tessa brings out in Ruth - her love, faithfulness, self sacrifice, and compassion. Ruth questions why the life of one Moabite widow would matter to the Lord of heaven and earth, and I think the book's overarching theme is expressed in these words:  "The Lord uses odd instruments to fulfill His will. The weaker the vessel, the better He likes it. It only proves His strength."




    I appreciate a book that challenges or makes me examine my faith. When Boaz is asked to surrender that which is most precious to him, Ruth, I had to in turn ask myself, what have I held back from the Lord? Tessa concludes with a wonderful epilogue that shows how the upper story plays out, and I'll conclude with these words spoken by David to his son, Solomon, that challenge us as well . . .




    "There is only one measure of true success. How close you remain by God's side. Does the dust of His feet get on your cloak because you follow so close? Does the sound of His whisper reverberate in your ear because you have drawn so near? Are you obedient to that voice, day after day, hour after hour?" 




    Thank you to Tessa Afshar for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2014

    I've read quite a few Ruth stories, but this one still managed t

    I've read quite a few Ruth stories, but this one still managed to seem different and unique and captivated me. I love my Biblical retellings, and this one was no different.

    I liked how this one veered from some of the other Ruth stories that are out there to stand out. I love how Afshar added in Boaz's first wife, which I hadn't seen before. I also liked how Afshar reimagined Ruth's growing up/family life as not-so-positive, which I also hadn't seen done before. And the epilogue, skipping all the way over to David and Solomon, was interesting and a great way to end the story.

    The writing style captured me from the beginning, and captivated me the whole way through. I liked how it switched perspectives from Boaz to Ruth, to add another dimension to the story. The culture was well researched, and made me feel like she knew what she was talking about, which I've always found important.

    I respect the creative license the author took with the story, as she still made it seem true and respectful to the Biblical account. I felt like Ruth and Boaz were real people, with real emotions and feelings, instead of just someone from so long ago, that we only hear stories about.

    Retelling a Bible story can be hard, but I think Afshar did a great job not only creatively but emotionally, bringing a new depth to the story.

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  • Posted November 21, 2014

    Brings the Bible to life

    This is the third Tessa Afshar novel I have read, and they just keep getting better and better! If you like grocery store novels, these Bible-based stories are not for you. But if you like a good read, there is action, conflict, romance, and a window to how characters from the scriptures lived their lives. I'm eagerly waiting to read additional works from this author!

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  • Posted November 19, 2014

    Tessa Afshar has captured the beauty and drama of the biblical s

    Tessa Afshar has captured the beauty and drama of the biblical story of Ruth the Moabitess, who chooses to cast her lot with her mother-in-law Naomi, the widow from Bethlehem. When Ruth herself becomes a widow, she accompanies Naomi back to her homeland and helps them survive by gleaning in the fields owned by a wealthy landowner, Boaz. The love story that grows out of this odd relationship is summarized in the book’s title, In the Field of Grace. Grace, the essence of the story of Ruth and Boaz, is recognized and felt on both sides. 




    Boaz’s words to Ruth when they first meet come straight from the Bible. “May the Lord repay you for what you have done [for your mother-in-law]. May the God of Israel, under whose wings you have some to take refuge, give you a full reward.”




    Some fine writing shows up in this book. The first two sentences: “Death squatted at Boaz’s door. He could sense its presence—inexorable, hungry, patient.”




    When Naomi lines out her plan for Ruth to lay at Boaz’s feet on the threshing floor, she tells her daughter-in-law, “You must be courageous, Ruth. There is a hazard to this plan. I don’t deny it. You must risk exposure, perhaps even rejection. But Boaz is worth it. What was it you told Adin? Bear the cost of your love. It is your turn to do that for Boaz. . . .”




    Picking up on Ruth’s well-known words to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people”, Naomi reminds Ruth. “Another thing. You should understand that the Lord speaks these words to you. He is not sending you to Boaz’s presence alone. With every step you take toward that threshing floor, the Father of our people makes a promise to you. Where you go, I will go.  He will not abandon you to go to Boaz by yourself. He will go with you. . . . He will give you His strength to do what you must. Do you understand?”




    We know how the story ends. Ruth tells Boaz, “You are my home. You and the Lord. I’ve never been so happy, All I ever wanted was to belong. Naomi and her family gave me that. When death ripped it away, I thought I was done with joy. I thought the best I could do was to survive. Live another day. Then you came into my life and I learned to love in a deeper way. I thought death was the end of my dreams. But death led me to you.”




    So much that is good in this book, but some of the action and dialogue felt contrived and lacked smooth, natural flow. The author’s heart is in this story, however, and I believe readers will be caught up in the drama of this classic love story.

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  • Posted October 19, 2014

    In the Field of Grace is the retelling of the Old Testament stor

    In the Field of Grace is the retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth, but it is so much more. It is a tale of hope, faith when all hope is gone, releasing and trusting, and a lovely love story.
    Anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows the story of Ruth a Moabite who marries into a Jewish family who has sought refuge in Moab to escape the famine in their land. When he husband dies, Ruth accompanies her widowed and now motherless mother-in-law back to Israel where she eventually finds a home for both herself and her mother-in-law. In the process of this, she finds love, acceptance, and a place in the lineage of Christ. Ruth’s loyalty and Naomi’s faith are held up as standards in the Christian faith.
    Initially, I was only interested in reading this because it was written by Tessa Afshar. I have read all of her books and she has a unique storytelling ability. Many books have been written using Ruth’s story even some done in modern settings. But, because of Tessa Afshar’s Middle Eastern background, she has infused new life in this story. She portrays Ruth as a young woman who never knew love until she met Naomi and her family. Ruth never felt worthy until she accepted God’s view of her. Her loyalty and hard work to take care of Naomi really stand out as does her growing love for God. Naomi becomes so relatable as the grieving mother and wife who in her losses questions God’s care for her. Boaz becomes a very wise and godly man who uses his personal prosperity to minister to and care for many. It is no wonder that they are part of the heritage of Christ.
    I received a copy of this from NetGalley for my honest review.

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  • Posted October 12, 2014

    Disregarded by her birth family, Ruth's desire to belong is sati

    Disregarded by her birth family, Ruth's desire to belong is satisfied in her marriage to Mahlon, a kind man whose mother, Naomi, treats Ruth as her own daughter. When Mahlon and his brother die, Ruth and Naomi journey to Bethlehem, Naomi's former homeland. Desperate for food and income, Ruth gleans, picking up the pieces left behind by the field reapers employed by Boaz. As the camaraderie between Ruth and Boaz transforms into romantic inklings, both are convinced that they can never be together. Will love find a way? Read more in Tessa Afshar's In the Field of Grace.

    In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is a Biblical retelling of the Book of Ruth. The author used plenty of literary license to add story details and character motives, but also inserted quotes from the Book of Ruth.  Throughout the story, various characters are taught spiritual lessons which became the themes of the book. At times, I felt like characters learned certain lessons too easily. Without enough internal struggle or tension, the development seemed a bit inauthentic. Still, themes such as surrendering what one wants most into God's care and accepting God's will with joy even when circumstances are hard are primary messages in the book that will resonate with Christian readers. I enjoyed the storyline and interspersed humor. In the Field of Grace is a keeper that I'm likely to re-read.

    Those who liked Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar will enjoy In the Field of Grace as there are substantial similarities in characters and plot. I recommend In the Field of Grace to Christian readers looking for a historical romance combined with prevalent spiritual themes.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 13, 2014

    I was given a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalle

    I was given a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley, in return for an honest review.




    I feel like I should premise this review by saying that I grew up Christian, and after years of thought and research, have decided that I am agnostic. 




    "In the Field of Grace" is the story of Ruth from the Bible, but with more detail. I was familiar with the beginning of story, but not how it ended. I enjoyed the tale, the added depth that wasn't present in the Bible version. 




    Even as someone who doesn't necessarily believe in faith and religion, I can appreciate what the story was about. Boaz, Ruth and Naomi had all but given up on their lives, but found that through their faith in their Lord, they were not given more hardships than they could bear. By giving their heart to God, they would be favored is His eyes. I can understand that there are people who need to have that kind of faith in their lives. If I were one of them, this story would be up at the top of my list of Most Beautiful Love Stories. And I'm not talking about the love story between Ruth and Boaz, but between all of the characters and God.




    Despite the fact that I'm not someone who believes like that, or maybe because of it, this story was just ok for me. As I said, it was nice to have more detail about a story that I thought I new. But that was all it was to me, a story nice retelling.

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  • Posted July 30, 2014

    Oh, my! Another amazing release from Tessa Afshar!! I have l

    Oh, my! Another amazing release from Tessa Afshar!!




    I have loved every book I've read by Ms. Afshar, and this one is no exception! To make things even better, she writes about Ruth and Boaz in In the Field of Grace! The story of Ruth is a long time favorite of mine. I was so thrilled to discover that's who I'd be reading about. I love how Ms. Afshar tries to stay true to the Bible while also threading in fiction where there are gaps or "loose ends" in the story. She did this in a truly amazing way.




    I loved how she characterized Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. She fleshed them out, gave them dreams, gave them fears... In essence, she breathed life into them. One day when I'm in Heaven I'm going to ask Ruth to tell me her story. (As well as ask many other people, but I digress...) It wouldn't surprise me if Ruth reveals many of the same emotions that Ms. Afshar portrays in the story. It's beautifully done. This is another book that will have a permanent place on my shelf to be re-read, and lent to people who I think need the story brought to life. I'm very picky with what Biblical fiction I read, but I'm proud to say Tessa Afshar's works have made the cut. ;-) I recommend this novel to fans of Biblical fiction anywhere from adults to the teenagers of fifteen.




    I received this book from River North through CFBA in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!!

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    If you have read some of the stories of the Bible, you get a bro

    If you have read some of the stories of the Bible, you get a broad sense of what happened. But like so many times we are missing some of the finer points, the motivations and those are found in the details. My newest favorite genre this year is Biblical Fiction. Taking a story we all know and love straight from the Bible and enhancing the details of 'what could of been!' It is never meant to take the place of those beloved stories but simply a way I believe to draw you deeper. To bring you right in the forefront of the action and make you believe you are there actually witnessing the events.

    This is my second novel from author Tessa Afshar, and with it comes the retelling of the story of Ruth. If you are familiar with the story than you know that Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, decides to return to Israel after losing both of her sons. But before deciding to uproot Ruth from her own family roots, she relives her of any burden to stay with her along her to journey back to her home. Ruth vows that no matter what happens in life, she will always stay by Naomi side and so begins their adventure to Naomi's home. We learn that the harvest has been plentiful and even gleaners, are having success with picking up enough left over grain that they will not go hungry. Ruth decides to venture out to take care of their needs and finds her way into the fields of Boaz.

    She first has to learn how to glean and being a Moabite woman, she is considered an outcast in town. With no one to help her, she decides to linger behind and take the leftovers if she can find them. But soon she garners the attention of Boaz, the owner of the field, who is smitten with her looks as well as her quiet presence. When he learns she is the daughter of Naomi, his cousin, he realizes he must offer to help but not in the way to embarrass her. He warns his men to offer her protection while working in his fields and to ensure that each day, she takes home more than enough to feed them both.

    While they are both learning lessons along the way, dealing with grief, accepting God's will in both of their lives, and slowly falling in love along the way, we can see the same example being laid out before each of us. How God so lovingly romances all of us and shows us in innumerable ways just how much He loves us. I love the part of the novel where Boaz it trying to describe what the world is like to an unborn baby and he gets a lesson from God in the process in dealing with the grief and loss Boaz feels when he loses his wife Judith and their unborn child.

    "Then the Lord asked me, 'Do you think he understands? Do you think he knows what your world is like now?'

    "No, Lord,' I replied, 'How could he? He only knows his mother's womb. His world is too small. I could use every word the world has to offer and he would still not perceive our world. He has to be in it to understand it.'

    "'No more can you understand My kingdom,' He said to me. 'No more can you perceive where your wife and daughter and newborn son reside now. Yet that world is no less real than your own.'" (pg 124).

    I received In the Fields of Grace by Tessa Afshar compliments of River North Publishing and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. This is such a beautiful love story not only between Ruth and Boaz but also between God and us.. There are just so many wonderful take aways from this novel I simply can't list them all. For those that have experienced loss and are looking for answers, I would encourage you to check out this novel and then follow it up with the story of Ruth from the Bible. It simply is breath-taking and full of life in many ways. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to go back and pick up the other novels Tessa has written that I haven't been blessed to enjoy yet.

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  • Posted July 17, 2014

    I just finished her book. It is a Biblical/historical fiction bo

    I just finished her book. It is a Biblical/historical fiction book based on Ruth & Boaz. I absolutely LOVE her books!!! She has a remarkable way of taking these characters (like Ruth or Rahab) and bringing them to life. She has a spectacular way of writing that makes the reader really think about God's personal Word for each of us and see His provision and love for us in new ways. Yes, it's fiction, but it seems plausible and very realistic. She weaves the stories to include little details that surprise the reader a little bit and definitely leave you wanting more of the story. 




    Check out ALL of her books!!!

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is brilliant. An entic

    In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is brilliant. An enticing blend of biblical history and spectacular imagery make the familiar story of the book of Ruth come alive.

    While this story is a well known story, Afshar brings in her unique perspective and practical wisdom to weave a story that will resonate with you long after you have read the final page. These things combine to make this a must read for Christian women. In reading this story, you, the reader come away with a better understanding of life. Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan for, but God wants us to trust Him enough to leave things in His hands. This wasn't an easy lesson for Ruth, Naomi or Boaz to learn. Yet we see that they did surrender things to God and He did some amazing things. As Naomi told Ruth, "You want what you want, not what He is willing to give. It's an awkward spot. In my experience, He usually wins. Try to remember, daughter, time does not work the same in the hands of the Lord as it would in ours. Sometimes, out of the delays of life, He calls forth a blessing."

    We see the blessings God bestowed on Ruth, Naomi and Boaz. It is much harder to hang on in our own lives, but a book like this helps me to hang on and believe that God knows what He is doing in my life.

    My thanks go out to Moody Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a free ebook to read and review. I also want to thank Ms. Afshar for her gift in writing biblical fiction. I know that I will learn something about myself through her books and I eagerly await her next book.

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    I am a HUGE fan of Tessa Afshar's - I preordered this book the d

    I am a HUGE fan of Tessa Afshar's - I preordered this book the day I heard about it (many long months ago).   And I was not disappointed!  The story of Ruth is one I've heard told, and retold, and retold by everyone from pastors to secular authors.  And, not surprisingly, this was my very favorite version.  




    The characters were all richly drawn and well-developed, not only the main ones we all know like Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz (although how the author was able to bring so much depth to characters we think we know so well was truly astonishing), but even the secondary characters who helped fill in the story were marvelously done.  The author also managed to make a plot that, again, we all think we know so well, new and engaging.  




    Possibly the thing I admire most about Ms. Afshar's writing is her ability to seamlessly weave spiritual truths into her story, and this book is no different.  I've read several authors who do indeed put valuable lessons in their books, but none manage to do it so flawlessly and beautifully.  I never feel preached at, or like she has to maneuver the dialogue in order to fit some Scripture verse or life-changing moment for the characters, or like it's the same "revelations" I've read in most other Christian fiction.  It all flows so well, and often I've found those things she shares utterly "new" (for me at least!), profound, and life-changing.  Really.  This is one of the only fiction books that I not only thoroughly enjoyed reading but feel like I've truly gained something from.  I put it down and wanted to follow Jesus more closely.  There was even a moment in the book where I had to stop reading because I just wanted to spend time with the Lord.  I don't think that's ever happened to me before!  Fiction that is entertaining and encouraging - you cannot ask for a better read than this!

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  • Posted July 15, 2014

    Tessa Afshar credits her conversion to Christianity in her 20s f

    Tessa Afshar credits her conversion to Christianity in her 20s for changing the course of her life forever.  But her conversion has also enhanced the lives of others, blessing them through her writing and helping them gain a better understanding of life in Bible times.
    Let me be clear: In The Field of Grace is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz.  Reading it is not a substitute for reading the actual Book of Ruth in the Bible.  However, it is a wonderful aid to read along with it.  Doing so gave me a clearer picture of what life might have been like in that era and the special challenges faced by Ruth, Boaz, Naomi, Dinah, and others.
    I thoroughly enjoyed In the Field of Grace, as I have enjoyed all of Tessa Afshar's other works.  I enthusiastically recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian literature.

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  • Posted July 13, 2014

    I really liked In the Field of Grace. It is a beautiful retellin

    I really liked In the Field of Grace. It is a beautiful retelling of Ruth and Boaz. Such a sweet sweet love story. I loved how Tessa Afshar imagined the Biblical story. 
    Highly recommended. 
    5 stars 

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    Amazing new book from Tessa Afshar! In the Field of Grace is th

    Amazing new book from Tessa Afshar!
    In the Field of Grace is the newest book by Tessa Afshar. I am a huge fan of hers, since discovering her books last year, so I was very excited when I first heard about this book and have been anticipating its release for months. There are so many things I want to say about it, but I will try to limit them so this review doesn’t end up rivaling the novel in length.
    First off, I loved it! This is fictional telling of the story of Boaz and Ruth from the Bible, and while I know a lot of it is solely a product of the author’s imagination, it seemed so real. The depth of research that obviously went into it astounds me. I could tell from the very beginning that Ms. Afshar worked very hard to make it as accurate as possible, while also finding the balance of adding depth and details that brought everything to life. A few times, when I managed to put down the book, I had to remind myself when and where I was. The story drew me in that much. The characters, the descriptions, the historical details, the scripture that was chosen for the beginning of each chapter, all of it flowed together seamlessly into an amazing novel. Ruth is obviously one of the protagonists in this book and as soon as I’m done here, I’m going to go read the book of Ruth again, because now I am fascinated and see her story in a different light. I’m actually not sure what to say about her. She is so strong, caring, loving, faithful, and a dozen other adjectives. I fell in love with her from the first. She comes to life on the pages and Tessa makes her feel so genuine. She has spent the formative years of her life feeling as though she is unloved and a burden, so when faced with love from Naomi and her God, she struggled to believe that He would want someone like her (a Moabite). I loved following her journey, because as the book progresses, we see her grow and change. She learns about the Lord mostly from Naomi and Boaz, but also begins to understand truths about Him on her own. Throughout the book we see small changes in her as she discovers new things about Him.Boaz was wonderfully realistic, too. He is a bit of an anomaly in the world of fiction, I think. Maybe because he is so raw and we see so many sides of him. He is strong, yet gentle. Kind and caring, but also firm and a bit cunning when need be. He, like Ruth, has a strong faith which grows and changes throughout the story. I loved getting to know them both, since I never really put a lot of thought into either of them - what they must have been like, who they were aside from what little we know about them, what they faced, etc. I’m not sure I will ever be able to read the book of Ruth again without thinking of them as they are portrayed in this novel.
    I always love the faith Tessa weaves into her stories. Obviously, they are fictional retellings of Biblical characters and faith being a big part is pretty much a must, but she includes it with a finesse that challenges and strengthens my own faith. I can’t really pick out one specific spiritual truth this book focuses on, because there are several. From the analogy of the lamb, to the olive trees, to Ruth learning to accept whatever God brings her way with joy, to Boaz learning surrender, every part of it touched me. Tessa has a way of sharing each part that makes it applicable and real to those that read her books (at least, I hope it’s not just me).
    Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is Ruth and Boaz’s relationship. It doesn’t move quickly and starts out more as a friendship than anything else, which I enjoyed. There is, of course, the requisite misunderstanding between them, which fortunately only lasts a chapter or two, and leads into one of my favorite scenes in the whole book. If you’ve ever read the book of Ruth, then you know that she is very bold and goes to him on the threshing floor while he is sleeping and lies down at his feet. I love what he says to her here. He reminds her that she is so very precious to God and that the trials she has faced do not detract from that fact. He shows her she is loved, not for anything she has done or will do, but just because she is.
    I honestly only have one complaint about this book and that is that epilogue was a little long and didn’t make very much sense, until I read the author’s notes afterward. Then I was able to appreciate what she intended it for.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys wonderful historical fiction that brings the Bible, and the people in it, to life (but it is no way intended to replace actually reading the Bible)!
    I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    The story of Ruth and Boaz like you've never seen it before! &q

    The story of Ruth and Boaz like you've never seen it before!

    "In the Field of Grace" by Tessa Afshar is a retelling of the Biblical account of Ruth and Boaz. The story begins before the Biblical account creating a depth to the characters and giving the story further meaning. Ruth has always been a favorite book of the Bible for me as it tells the story of a young widow leaving everything she knows to follow a God whom she doesn't know and her mother-in-law into a land that hates her for her heritage. This retelling is wonderfully done, making me love the story even more!
    Boaz is a middle aged man who life has dealt a bad hand. At the beginning of this story, he loses his first wife Judith and their newborn son during child-birth. In the ten years since, he has learned to accept his lot in life and follows God's will to the best he can. His land is fruitful and in Bethlehem he is a rich man. He is kind to his servants and those less fortunate than him. He is in one word humble.
    Ruth is a young woman when she meets Naomi and her sons for the first time. An outcast in her family she finds solace with the comfort and love that radiates from Naomi and her God. When she accepts a marriage offer from Mahlon, she is happy and feels love for the first time in her young life. All she now wants is a child of her own. But God has other plans. When Mahlon and his brother die, leaving her childless and a widow, she does the only thing she knows to do, something she learned from Naomi and Mahlon, pray. Uncertain of what the future holds, but knowing she will not part from Naomi, Ruth follows her back to Israel, to Bethlehem and faces the harsh words and hatred of her birth. Ruth is courageous and faithful, humble and modest. 
    I loved every word of this retelling. The background given about Boaz and Ruth, even if it is fictionalized, has a ring of truth to it, making the story that much more real and relevant. Ruth faces adversity head on and shows kindness to those that would belittle her. She falls in love, she grieves, she suffers, and she loves again. 
    Overall if you are looking for an easy, uplifting read, I highly recommend this one! It's beautifully written with God's love and ultimate plan shown throughout. If you enjoy women's lit, historical fiction, and inspirational fiction than I believe you will enjoy this book!
    ***I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Biblical Story!  I so enjoyed reading In the Field of

    Excellent Biblical Story! 

    I so enjoyed reading In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar. Based on the biblical account of Ruth. The author has based the story on the Bible account of the book of Ruth and adds what she thinks might have happened to really bring one of my favorite bible stories to life. 
    It starts out with telling us what might have been Boaz' history before Ruth. About Ruth's family and how they treated her. How Naomi and Ruth met, their trip to Bethlehem. The things that they may have had happen to them on this trip.
    Goes on to tell us how Ruth and Boaz met and brings to life the night on the threshing floor.

    I was so drawn into this book that I didn't want to lay it down at all. As I read I felt that I was there with them thousands of years ago when all of this did take place.

    One of my favorite quotes from the book Boaz said to Ruth - "What’s a little dung compared to the riches of a good harvest? If you want blessing, you must accept the manure that accompanies it."

    I highly recommend this book to anyone that would like to read a good story based on biblical history.

    I received an advanced copy of this from the publisher in exchange for my review rather it be good or bad.

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    I always enjoy Tessa Afshar's books, and IN THE FIELDS OF GRACE

    I always enjoy Tessa Afshar's books, and IN THE FIELDS OF GRACE is no exception. It was not only well written, but also Biblically accurate. It encouraged me to read the Bible book of Ruth again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Tessa Afshar is truly skilled in the art of writing! She has tak

    Tessa Afshar is truly skilled in the art of writing! She has taken a timeless story and given us a great picture as to what might have been in the life and time of Ruth and Boaz. I laughed and I cried. Truly a treasure to read!!

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  • Posted June 26, 2014

    Reading In the Field of Grace brings a hush to my soul¿like stan

    Reading In the Field of Grace brings a hush to my soul—like standing on holy ground as Tessa Afshar brings one of my favorite Biblical stories to life. I find I need to stop and bask in the Lord’s presence because the story ushers me there.
    As I travel the road from Moab to Bethlehem with Ruth and Naomi, I discover a deeper message for my own heart. I connect with these two women in a powerful way; Tessa has woven a masterful story with a message that will touch and transform.
    If you love the story of Ruth—you will love it more after reading In the Field of Grace!

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