Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Provided by: Revell
Series: Daughters of the Promised Land, Book 3
Subjects: depression, pregancy complications, bad seasons of life, hospitality, grief, things outside of our comfort zone, faith
Setting: 1297 BC
When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech's family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law's homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.
Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series.
The book opens with birth and death all on the first page. Usually I shy away from biblical fiction but I found this intriguing. I dont know if this is true for anyone else but I know that sometimes I think of Biblical characters as having everything under control, everything picture perfect and less bad days than other people so its refreshing to see something exciting.
That said, my assumptions are not true and the more time I spend in the Bible the more I understand that the people it focuses on were real people too with the same problems we have today.
I found the grief that Boaz feels and expresses to be beautiful. Not only does it make him more realistic but it shows character and virtue to unashamedly show his emotion. He is very gentle throughout the book and concerned for the well being of others.
I really like the way that the author tries to make the problems and experiences of the characters universal. Instead of making the book "about" people in the desert thousands of years ago, the emphasis is people who rely on God for difficult things. Today, of course, there are many difficult things!
I also think that the author does a better job of telling Bible stories than any other fiction book I can think of. Usually its painful and poorly integrated but this is really well done. The author explains passages about plagues and the Passover and makes them meaningful. For example, you may wonder "Why were the people in the Bible attacked by plagues?" or "What does it mean to be redeemed?" and the author discusses these questions.
One of my favorite passages (I don't find many 5 star books so I am super excited about this one) was one solidifying that "Yes! Everyone can be welcomed into God's family!"
There are also lots and lots of agricultural analogies to help break down confusing concepts.
To me, the only weakness is the title which honestly seems to have very little to do with the book. You almost expect a character named Grace... but there isnt anyone named Grace.
In the end, I think the author does a good job of connecting with the audience through the book. To me, the target audience seems to be Christian women. I am not sure that someone who is not religious would enjoy the book but you also don't have to be very familiar with the story of Ruth, which this series focuses on, to understand the plot.
I think that this book would be great for Christian women who prefer clean romance, but that nonreligious people could learn a lot from the book without feeling offended.
You can order a copy from Amazon here.
About the author
Jill Eileen Smith is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs, Daughters of the Promised Land, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.
You can read more about her and her books at http://www.jilleileensmith.com/