ICYMI: February 2016 Reviews

Miss any reviews this month? Here they are:

book coverThe Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen

First in a new series set around a coaching inn in Regency England

book coverAn Uncommon Courtship – Kristi Ann Hunter

Trent Hawthorne’s plans to marry for love go awry in the third of the Hawthorne House series.

book coverThe Angels’ Share – James Markert

Some believed he was the second coming of Christ. William wasn’t so sure. But when that drifter was buried next to the family distillery, everything changed.

Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Storybook cover – Jill Eileen Smith

Revisit the Biblical story of Ruth.

 

 

Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Story, by Jill Eileen Smith

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

One devoted woman is about to discover the power of love

When famine visits Bethlehem, some hold out hope for rain, while Naomi and her family make a long journey to Moab in search of greener pastures. The harvest there is plentiful, and for a time it appears the Lord is blessing them. But when calamities strike, one after another, Naomi is left alone in a foreign land with only her widowed daughters-in-law for comfort.

Downhearted and destitute, Naomi is determined to return to Bethlehem alone. But her daughter-in-law Ruth refuses to leave her side. Despite the fact that she and Naomi will almost certainly live out their days in widowhood and poverty, Ruth holds out hope for a better future . . . and maybe even a second chance at love.

First Thoughts:

It’s an honor to review any novel by Jill Eileen Smith. I’ve been highly impressed with many of her previous titles and they’ve often helped me look at the featured Bible story with fresh eyes. I’m hoping for the same with her interpretation of Ruth.

My Take:

Once again, Jill Eileen Smith has taken a well-known Bible story and brought it to life. The story of Ruth begins with her future mother-in-law assisting Boaz’s wife in childbirth. It establishes Naomi as a woman who is familiar with Boaz and his family, placing Boaz as her husband’s cousin and creating a brother-in-law as well to act as the relative closer to Naomi than Boaz.

After reading Redeeming Grace I had to review Ruth’s story for a Bible study. Thanks to this novel, I saw the story with new eyes. We don’t know why she was so willing to leave her home and everything that she knew to go with Naomi. Here, Smith has given her a realistic reason, as well as an interesting theory on how and why Naomi’s sons might’ve died. It was refreshing to see Ruth portrayed as a Moabite, as some authors I’ve read have gone out of their way to ignore this aspect of her character. Ruth was a foreigner, although it’s acknowledged that her people were descended from Abraham’s nephew, Lot.

I found Redeeming Grace difficult to put down. As well as being entertaining, it was also thought provoking. For example, why did God let Naomi’s husband and sons die? Was it punishment for moving away from the Kingdom of Judah? The final paragraphs hint, however, of what was to come from Bethlehem and the line of Boaz and Ruth: the Messiah Himself.

Thank you to Revell and the author for my complimentary copy of Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Story, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read Redeeming Grace? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 14 February 2017

Page Count: 368

Read more on:   Jill Eileen Smith’s Website   Revell’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

Best Books of the Month: February

Enjoy this look at some of the best books from Februarys past. Maybe you’ll find something new to read 🙂

book cover2012

The Accidental Bride – Denise Hunter

Promise Me This – Cathy Gohlke

book cover2013

Rebekah – Jill Eileen Smith

To Honor and Trust – Tracie Peterson

Moonlight Masquerade – Ruth Axtell

book cover2014

Rachel – Jill Eileen Smith

The Sinners’ Garden – William Sirls

Princess Ever After – Rachel Hauck

book cover2015

Beyond All Dreams – Elizabeth Camden

Where Rivers Part – Kellie Coates Gilbert

The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story – Jill Eileen Smith

How to Catch a Prince – Rachel Hauck

Mercy’s Rain – Cindy K. Sproles

book cover2016

The Prophetess: Deborah’s Story – Jill Eileen Smith

Room for Hope – Kim Vogel Sawyer

The Confessions of X – Suzanne M. Wolfe