Ruth: A Love Story
by Own A. Dorn
Ruth had nothing. She had left her people to follow her mother-in-law back to a foreign land to serve a foreign God. And yet that God had a huge plan for Ruth. He guided her life, bringing her to a certain field, where a man would change her life forever, and through these two people, God would bless all nations.
Look, the story of Ruth has been done to death in Christian fiction. I have seen so many novels on the shelves of Christian bookstores that tell and retell this story. (A rather good one is Ruth A.D. By my friend Lydia Eberhardt; if you’re looking for a creative retelling, I recommend that as a great place to go.) After all those retellings, does this one hold up?
Well… kind of.
This is another in the “God’s People” series that I’ve reviewed a number of previously. Most have been outstanding. And this one is good. Not spectacular, but still well worth the time. While the writing as far as storytelling has a lot more explanation than I personally prefer, it tells the story well and introduces us to the many characters. We get to know Naomi as the bitter woman. We get to see Ruth as the one trying to serve. We get to know Boaz as a man of standing. And through it all, we get to know God and his grace better.
Unlike some other volumes in this set, the sidebars here are incredibly useful. Agricultural and marital customs are crucial to understand if you’re going to “get” Ruth, and the sidebars here lay out all that’s necessary to “get.” I walked away grasping many of the agricultural concepts much better.
This particular book is also shorter than most of the other books in this set. The others have been a little over forty pages; this one is only thirty-six. If you’re looking for a hefty retelling of Ruth, this is not the book to get. However, the biblical book of Ruth is only four chapters long; this book being shorter just makes a lot of sense to me. If you’re looking to get the historical account without a lot of fluff, this really is the best I’ve seen.
So count this as another win in the “God’s People” series. Let’s hope the rest of the set keeps up the good quality!