In the Field of Grace By Tessa Afshar: Book Review

In the Field of Grace
By Tessa Afshar 
Find it on: 
Third-Person 
Two (?) Points of View
Fiction
290 Pages

About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi’s, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.


But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the 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.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole world.

Why I Choose this Book: 

The first Bible Study I attend as a little girl was hosted by my older sister and we studied Ruth. Ever since then I’ve found her story to be fascinating and somewhat mind-bloggling. When I saw the chance to review a biblical fiction book about Ruth, I was pretty excited.
What I Thought About this Book:
Ah, Ruth! This book portrayed familiar characters in unfamiliar ways, and really helped them to come alive. Although the author obviously took liberties and added huge sections to the short account in the Bible, I found the book to be happily (as far as I remember) above reproach when it came to the actual scriptural part of the story.  
Although the writing wasn’t as tight as I thought it could have been, I found the descriptions to be lovely and really could imagine the time period and what all was happening. I could see the fields and almost feel the dust and heat. I could imagine the hurt and longing. The book did a good job at coming to life for me and helped me think thoughts about the account in the Bible that I hadn’t really had before. 
The account of Ruth has always been somewhat confusing to me, probably since I don’t fully understand what the culture was like back then. It’s amazing to me how people lived their lives and conducted business and just went about day after day. This book spurred on a bunch of random thoughts regarding life back then and life now and how different, and similar, life is the world ’round, even centuries apart. 
I enjoyed the story a fair amount, and the first half of the book a lot. Toward the end I felt my interest waning a good bit and wished that the book would have ended sooner than it actually did, that alone was enough to take the book down a notch or so in my estimate. 
Conclusion:
There was obviously romance since this is about Ruth. Overall though, I really felt like the romance was handled carefully and didn’t come across wrong. There were a few scenes that I didn’t appreciate, but other than that I thought the book was good. 
And, as I mentioned earlier: I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second and think it dragged two much at the end. 
Rating: 
I’m giving In Fields of Grace four out of five stars, seven out of ten. 
*I received this book for free from Moody Press in exchange for an honest review*

Counted with the Stars By Connilyn Cossette: Book Review

Counted with the Stars
By Connilyn Cossette 
Find it on: 
Third-Person 
One Point of View
Fiction
352 Pages

About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.
To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
Why I Choose this Book: 

I have a kind of love-hate relationship with Biblical fiction. When an author clearly upholds the authority of scripture and has done their research, I really like how the Bible comes even more alive to me through their imagination. At the same time I can’t stand it when someone stretches Biblical truths to make their fictitious story work better. I decided to give Miss Connilyn a try and see how true to reality her book was.
What I Thought About this Book:
The book was enjoyable and I liked it a lot. A list of things that made me happy: 
* I felt like everything mentioned in God’s Word was held in high authority and the Miss Connilyn really wanted to uphold the truth 
* The characters were well developed and different from each other 
* The historical time period felt very well researched
* The world was painted with bright colors and came alive to me
* Although I basically knew the story, there were still a few things I didn’t see coming, so the surprise was good
Despite all the good, there were a few things about the book that made it less than stellar. One of those would be the grip factor… Although I enjoyed reading it, I was able to put it down easily which isn’t a plus. I’m pretty sure that was mostly due to the fact that I knew the original story so well. It would have to be difficult to take something like the Exodus of Egypt and put a new twist on it while leaving it historically accurate. Miss Connilyn did do a good job of putting in a few twists though, so good for her. 
For most of the book I felt like there was a good small balance of romance, but then near the end there were a few scenes that I didn’t agree with or feel were necessary. That seems to be the reoccurring theme in my reviews though, so… 
Conclusion: 

A few of the ways she depicted Biblical themes weren’t they way I imagined them, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I’m pretty sure it’s just my imagination against her imagination. 
I liked this book and hope to read more books in the series. 
Rating: 

I’m giving Counted with the Stars four stars out of five, and seven out of ten. 
*I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review*