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.
- 4-Star Review RT Book Reviews
“Smith’s latest Biblical fiction offering is not so much the story of Ruth and Boaz together, though that is certainly part of it. Rather, it is more an account of Ruth and Boaz’s separate lives, woven with skill and imagination until they beautifully connect.”
—RT Book Reviews
Smith (Wives of King David), beloved for her biblical fiction bringing new life to women from the pages of Scripture, turns her imagination to Ruth, a Moabite who returns with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Israel. Naomi lost her husband and two sons in Moab after moving there to avoid famine in their hometown of Bethlehem. Readers familiar with the tale will enjoy this retelling of the love story between Ruth and Boaz, a kinsman who redeems the lost family’s land and finds a worthy wife in the process. Smith’s attention to detail regarding Moab and Israel’s feasts and laws makes the narrative believable without distracting from the engrossing narrative. Side plots such as that of Hamul and Hava will please readers deeply familiar with Scripture. Those who don’t know the story will learn a lot about ancient Bible lands, practices of the Jewish faith, and love and redemption in Smith’s fine rendition of this much-loved story. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary (Feb.)
“Smith has brought the story to life in this richly descriptive and dramatic novel, enhancing it with colorful details about life in ancient Moab and Israel, including the political and religious climates of the time. Readers who enjoy historical biblical fiction will find this book. . . fascinating.”
“Smith breathes fresh life into the oft-told tale of Ruth. Redeeming Grace delves deeply into the psyches and experiences of the biblical characters. . .Highly recommend this well-crafted and well-researched tale to lovers of biblical fiction.”
Without straying from the Bible’s tale, Smith provides a retelling that gives a detailed look at what life might have been like in pagan Moab for the devout Hebrew, Naomi, and mirrors that with the Moabite Ruth’s struggle for acceptance when it’s her turn to leave her own land and dwell among strangers. Both women make the best of what life hands them, taking an active role in shaping their own futures. Likeable characters and a strong sense of place help make this another fine entry in Smith’s Daughters of the Promised Land series.
—Historical Novel Society
Smith’s fresh retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi portrays these strong biblical women in a thoughtful and reflective manner. Her impeccable research and richly detailed setting give readers a strong sense of life in ancient Israel. VERDICT Admirers of biblical historical fiction will love this uplifting third series outing (after The Crimson Cord and The Prophetess).