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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In The Field Of Grace

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Field of Grace
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2014)
Tessa Afshar


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, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, 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 co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.
Tessa can be reached through the Contact link on her Website. 


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Field of Grace, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
I have read the Biblical account of Ruth and Boaz many times and have even read a few books "re-telling" the story.  Afshar's novelization of Ruth's story is biblical fiction at its finest!  Rich in historical detail and description, Afshar places her readers right in the middle of the harvest gleaning beside Ruth.  The ripe emotion of the characters grab you and draws you into an amazing story of sacrifice and redemption.
Tessa follows the biblical narrative and eloquently weaves into the dialogue scriptural lessons and examples from other Bible characters.  Some of my favorite snippets are the following:
"Naomi enfolded Ruth in a warm embrace, before drawing back and patting her cheek.  'If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,' she said, 'we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives.  Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.'"
"Boaz gulped air as if he had been drowning.  He forced himself to turn in the opposite direction.  It occurred to him that he never meant to come to this field today. He meant to be on the other side of Bethlehem.  But for the obstinate capriciousness of a brute animal, which delayed his leaving long enough for Miriam to catch him on her unannounced visit, and delay him further in her turn, he would not be here.  He would not have met her or helped her.  The very things that had seemed like unwelcome interruptions earlier rose up before him like the most important parts of his day now." 
"We travel through many wildernesses in life, be they real like Jacob's Bethel, or wildernesses of the soul.  Broken dreams, loss, grief.  Sometimes there is nothing to comfort us but the hard stones of a lonely path.  In those places, God seems so far away and distant.  The way He does to Naomi right now.  Yet, there is a ladder that touches down into the soil of our loneliest wilderness.  The angels of the Lord ascend and descend upon it, and He is Himself watchful to give us aid."
And those are just a few of the many places in the book that I stopped and gave praise to the Lord for His indescribable mercy and grace.  When a book causes you to do that, you know it is a treasure to savor. Afshar's writing is a gift...anyone who reads her words will be blessed!

Happy Reading,