In the Field of Grace   -     By: Tessa Afshar
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In the Field of Grace

Moody Publishers / 2014 / Paperback

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Recently widowed, Ruth is left with a broken heart, a barren womb, and an empty future. Yet she's determined not to let her "chosen mother," Naomi, starve---so accompanies her to Israel. When Ruth meets Boaz---a wealthy landowner---she expects no special treatment. But will Boaz lose his heart to this foreign woman with haunted eyes?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 X 0.8 (inches)
ISBN: 0802410979
ISBN-13: 9780802410979
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description


Two women. Alone. With no provision. Can a woman who has lost everything, except her beloved mother, find hope in a foreign land?

Ruth leaves her home with  a barren womb and an empty future, after losing her husband. She forsakes her abusive parents and follows the woman she has grown to love as a true parent, her husband's mother, Naomi.

Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. She is destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. She is reduced to gathering leftovers once the harvesters have finished collecting grain from the field. A job only for the lowest of the low.

But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an unworthy outsider, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field-one of the wealthiest and most honored men of Judah-is showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz finds himself irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the dark, haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Obstacles. Heartache. Withered dreams. How can God forge love, passion, and new hope between two such different people?

Author Bio

TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, lived there for the first fourteen years of her life, and attended an English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full- and part-time Christian work.

Editorial Reviews

The Biblical story of Ruth and Boaz is beloved because it is a concise detailed description of the lineage of Christ that we can see clearly in history. The title of this book is descriptive of the grace that Ruth benefits from in the fields of Boaz, born of God's love for her and personified in Boaz's heart for God.   In the Field of Grace relates that story and transports the reader right to the heart of that history and the story and even to the heart of Judah.  It brings tears of joy that you share with Ruth when she is enveloped by delight from the realization that God loves her and does have provision over her, as well as sympathy for her sorrow when her despair of ever belonging or having a life of consequence washes over her; which comes as a result of her rejection in Bethlehem because she was a Moabitess.  I could have done without Ruth's vision while she was in a death-like sleep (coma) after the birth of Obed, as it hearkens to the current fascination with stories about visiting heaven and God during a death experience, then returning to earth.  None the less, this does not detract from the beauty of the story and Ms. Afshar's ability to relate to us the account of Ruth and Boaz.  The author is a natural story-teller and the ease with which she drew me in to the heart of the characters is a clear indication of that.  She uses just enough poetic license to bring everyday reality to the story which was certainly present in Bible times, via a glimpse of the culture, daily routine, and clear picture she paints of God's law being followed, or not.  I was absorbed into this era from the beginning of the novel with the author's descriptive narrative of the times, the place and the people.  It reads very easily and kept me turning the pages to see what beauty was in store next.  It is a comforting, reassuring account of God's unfailing love for His people.  This is a book to be best savored sitting outside on a summer day with a tall glass of iced tea and an uninterrupted afternoon.  I give In the Field of Grace five stars and I think I will be reading Ms. Afshar's other works, as well.  I was given an e-reader copy of this book from the publisher, Moody Publishers, free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  These words are my opinion.
-Jeri Wilson, June 17, 2014, www.JerisRealReviews.blogspot.com

Product Reviews

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  1. Gringa93
    Minneapolis, MN
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Brilliant Biblical Fiction
    July 16, 2014
    Gringa93
    Minneapolis, MN
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is brilliant. An enticing blend of biblical history and spectacular imagery make the familiar story of the book of Ruth come alive.

    While this story is a well known story, Afshar brings in her unique perspective and practical wisdom to weave a story that will resonate with you long after you have read the final page. These things combine to make this a must read for Christian women. In reading this story, you, the reader come away with a better understanding of life. Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan for, but God wants us to trust Him enough to leave things in His hands. This wasn't an easy lesson for Ruth, Naomi or Boaz to learn. Yet we see that they did surrender things to God and He did some amazing things. As Naomi told Ruth, "You want what you want, not what He is willing to give. It's an awkward spot. In my experience, He usually wins. Try to remember, daughter, time does not work the same in the hands of the Lord as it would in ours. Sometimes, out of the delays of life, He calls forth a blessing."

    We see the blessings God bestowed on Ruth, Naomi and Boaz. It is much harder to hang on in our own lives, but a book like this helps me to hang on and believe that God knows what He is doing in my life.

    My thanks go out to Moody Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a free ebook to read and review. I also want to thank Ms. Afshar for her gift in writing biblical fiction. I know that I will learn something about myself through her books and I eagerly await her next book.

  2. releight
    Gainesville, FL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    New depth to an old story!
    July 16, 2014
    releight
    Gainesville, FL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    I am a HUGE fan of Tessa Afshar's - I preordered this book the day I heard about it (many long months ago). And I was not disappointed! The story of Ruth is one I've heard told, and retold, and retold by everyone from pastors to secular authors. And, not surprisingly, this was my very favorite version.

    The characters were all richly drawn and well-developed, not only the main ones we all know like Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz (although how the author was able to bring so much depth to characters we think we know so well was truly astonishing), but even the secondary characters who helped fill in the story were marvelously done. The author also managed to make a plot that, again, we all think we know so well, new and engaging.

    Possibly the thing I admire most about Ms. Afshar's writing is her ability to seamlessly weave spiritual truths into her story, and this book is no different. I've read several authors who do indeed put valuable lessons in their books, but none manage to do it so flawlessly and beautifully. I never feel preached at, or like she has to maneuver the dialogue in order to fit some Scripture verse or life-changing moment for the characters, or like it's the same "revelations" I've read in most other Christian fiction. It all flows so well, and often I've found those things she shares utterly "new" (for me at least!), profound, and life-changing. Really. This is one of the only fiction books that I not only thoroughly enjoyed reading but feel like I've truly gained something from. I put it down and wanted to follow Jesus more closely. There was even a moment in the book where I had to stop reading because I just wanted to spend time with the Lord. I don't think that's ever happened to me before! Fiction that is entertaining and encouraging - you cannot ask for a better read than this!

  3. kad1964
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Beautiful Retelling of the Story of Ruth
    July 15, 2014
    kad1964
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Tessa Afshar credits her conversion to Christianity in her 20s for changing the course of her life forever. But her conversion has also enhanced the lives of others, blessing them through her writing and helping them gain a better understanding of life in Bible times.

    Let me be clear: In The Field of Grace is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz. Reading it is not a substitute for reading the actual Book of Ruth in the Bible. However, it is a wonderful aid to read along with it. Doing so gave me a clearer picture of what life might have been like in that era and the special challenges faced by Ruth, Boaz, Naomi, Dinah, and others.

    I thoroughly enjoyed In the Field of Grace, as I have enjoyed all of Tessa Afshar's other works. I enthusiastically recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian literature.

  4. Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    In the Field of Grace
    July 13, 2014
    Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    I really liked In the Field of Grace. It is a beautiful retelling of Ruth and Boaz. Such a sweet sweet love story. I loved how Tessa Afshar imagined the Biblical story.
    Highly recommended.
    5 stars

  5. BookLover
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing new book from Tessa Afshar!
    July 3, 2014
    BookLover
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5

    In the Field of Grace is the newest book by Tessa Afshar. I am a huge fan of hers, since discovering her books last year, so I was very excited when I first heard about this book and have been anticipating its release for months. There are so many things I want to say about it, but I will try to limit them so this review doesn’t end up rivaling the novel in length.
    First off, I loved it! This is fictional telling of the story of Boaz and Ruth from the Bible, and while I know a lot of it is solely a product of the author’s imagination, it seemed so real. The depth of research that obviously went into it astounds me. I could tell from the very beginning that Ms. Afshar worked very hard to make it as accurate as possible, while also finding the balance of adding depth and details that brought everything to life. A few times, when I managed to put down the book, I had to remind myself when and where I was. The story drew me in that much. The characters, the descriptions, the historical details, the scripture that was chosen for the beginning of each chapter, all of it flowed together seamlessly into an amazing novel.
    Ruth is obviously one of the protagonists in this book and as soon as I’m done here, I’m going to go read the book of Ruth again, because now I am fascinated and see her story in a different light. I’m actually not sure what to say about her. She is so strong, caring, loving, faithful, and a dozen other adjectives. I fell in love with her from the first. She comes to life on the pages and Tessa makes her feel so genuine. She has spent the formative years of her life feeling as though she is unloved and a burden, so when faced with love from Naomi and her God, she struggled to believe that He would want someone like her (a Moabite). I loved following her journey, because as the book progresses, we see her grow and change. She learns about the Lord mostly from Naomi and Boaz, but also begins to understand truths about Him on her own. Throughout the book we see small changes in her as she discovers new things about Him.
    Boaz was wonderfully realistic, too. He is a bit of an anomaly in the world of fiction, I think. Maybe because he is so raw and we see so many sides of him. He is strong, yet gentle. Kind and caring, but also firm and a bit cunning when need be. He, like Ruth, has a strong faith which grows and changes throughout the story. I loved getting to know them both, since I never really put a lot of thought into either of them - what they must have been like, who they were aside from what little we know about them, what they faced, etc. I’m not sure I will ever be able to read the book of Ruth again without thinking of them as they are portrayed in this novel.
    I always love the faith Tessa weaves into her stories. Obviously, they are fictional retellings of Biblical characters and faith being a big part is pretty much a must, but she includes it with a finesse that challenges and strengthens my own faith. I can’t really pick out one specific spiritual truth this book focuses on, because there are several. From the analogy of the lamb, to the olive trees, to Ruth learning to accept whatever God brings her way with joy, to Boaz learning surrender, every part of it touched me. Tessa has a way of sharing each part that makes it applicable and real to those that read her books (at least, I hope it’s not just me).
    Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is Ruth and Boaz’s relationship. It doesn’t move quickly and starts out more as a friendship than anything else, which I enjoyed. There is, of course, the requisite misunderstanding between them, which fortunately only lasts a chapter or two, and leads into one of my favorite scenes in the whole book. If you’ve ever read the book of Ruth, then you know that she is very bold and goes to him on the threshing floor while he is sleeping and lies down at his feet. I love what he says to her here. He reminds her that she is so very precious to God and that the trials she has faced do not detract from that fact. He shows her she is loved, not for anything she has done or will do, but just because she is.
    I honestly only have one complaint about this book and that is that epilogue was a little long and didn’t make very much sense, until I read the author’s notes afterward. Then I was able to appreciate what she intended it for.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys wonderful historical fiction that brings the Bible, and the people in it, to life (but it is no way intended to replace actually reading the Bible)!
    I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

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