This book is a novel set in biblical Bethlehem and surrounding areas. The main character of the story is Naomi, a wise woman of Bethlehem who is skilled in medicines. When a close friend of her family is murdered in a neighboring tribe, a war ensues taking her family to a foreign land. During her ten years there, she welcomes two daughter-in-laws and says goodbye to her husband and sons, due to their passing, leaving Naomi broken. She turns away from God and with hardened heart returns to Bethlehem, followed by her daughter in law Ruth who shows Naomi much kindness and brings her back to "life." Ruth and Boaz fall in love, and with the birth of their son, bring the kindness back to Naomi's heart.
This was a very powerful story. Though it was sometimes hard for me to read at times (I'm not very familiar with places of biblical reference), I could not put the book down. It was very suspenseful, emotional, and enjoyable. I liked that the novel was organized into parts to tell the stories that ultimately tied everything together. I think this book has something for everyone: history, romance, suspense, drama and more. I am looking forward to the next novel from Wangerin Jr.
Disclaimer: I provided an advanced reader copy of this book from Zondervan for free in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were not subject to editing from the publisher.
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