Review of "In the Field of Grace" by Tessa Afshar

Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Field of GraceIn the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
★: Didn't Like it
★★: It was Ok
★★★: Liked it
★★★★: Really liked it
★★★★★: It was amazing

Suggested Age: 18+
Genre:Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction

I’m really not sure where to start with this review. I guess I’ll say—I LOVED the cover. I just wasn’t very crazy about the story.

I read quite a bit of historical fiction and Biblical fiction. I’m fine with fillers to the story but this stuff was kind of farfetched. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Boaz had another wife and children. I probably could have overlooked that but I also felt that some of the language wasn’t very—fitting. I don’t think “bumpkin” and “hussy” fits well in this type of story. I really can’t imagine Boaz even kidding with Ruth about her being a hussy…I think my jaw dropped when I read that. It feels too modern and out of place.

I also thought similes were overused and everyone in this story was nauseous over every little situation they faced in life. They were nauseous from heat or embarrassment or from hunger. These poor folks needed a prescription for Zofran…just saying.

Further, Ruth nearly died in every chapter it seems. This lady had very little luck. Heatstroke, hemorrhage, smoke inhalation…you name it and she nearly died from it.

I was also bothered that Ruth was credited as writing some of the poetry found in Song of Solomon—I’m not a Bible scholar so maybe I’m wrong but I’ve never read any inclination that Ruth was responsible for the poetry from the Song of Solomon. I read the author’s note on this matter but it still just didn’t resonate with me.

The swift point of view change from that of Ruth to Solomon and David was also rather abrupt. These are simply my views. You may read the book and love it. I won’t say that others shouldn’t read the book—simply that it was not a book that I particularly enjoyed.

Ruth the Moabite has traveled from Moab with her mother-in-law, Naomi. As expected, this story follows the basic storyline that is outlined in the Bible.

Ruth is a stranger in a strange land but finds the approval of Boaz, her kinsman redeemer. I thought the actual love story in this book was well written and the characters were fleshed out very well. Ruth and Boaz read in a voice that I would have imagined of them.

Overall, this book was okay. It’s not the worst book that I’ve ever read. I thought the characters were believable and even likable. You may or may not have the same issues that I had with the story. If you like Biblical fiction—you may still enjoy this tale!
View all my reviews|Excerpt


Tessa Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" for her novel, Pearl in the Sand (Reader's Choice Award 2011, sponsored by Family Fiction).

Her book, Harvest of Rubies, was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award (formerly known as the Gold Medallion) in the fiction category.

Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fourteen years in full-time Christian work.
I received this book free from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

4 Responses to “Review of "In the Field of Grace" by Tessa Afshar”

  1. I've no doubt that Ruth was a spiritual influence on her family but something about how it was all written...

    I just couldn't get into it.

  2. Ya! It never crossed my mind that she wrote any mainly because it's called the Song of Solomon:)

  3. The author states in her notes that it's not "far fetched" to believe that Solomon penned words of Ruth, passed down in oral tradition. I totally get that but's called the Song of Solomon. Not the Song of Ruth by Solomon, you know?

  4. Hmmm the cover is what made me almost read it....but if it changed things from what the bible says no thank you.