Book Review: Redeeming Grace (Ruth*s Story) by Jill Eileen Smith

 "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you.  For where you go I will go...your people shall be my people, and your God my God." (174) - Ruth 1:16
Title:  Redeeming Grace
Collection: Daughters of the Promise Land, Book 3
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Publisher:  Revell
Release Date:  February 14, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Biblical Fiction 

One devoted woman is about to discover the power of love

When famine visits Bethlehem, some hold out hope for rain, while Naomi and her family make a long journey to Moab in search of greener pastures. The harvest there is plentiful, and for a time it appears the Lord is blessing them. But when calamities strike, one after another, Naomi is left alone in a foreign land with only her widowed daughters-in-law for comfort.

Downhearted and destitute, Naomi is determined to return to Bethlehem alone. But her daughter-in-law Ruth refuses to leave her side. Despite the fact that she and Naomi will almost certainly live out their days in widowhood and poverty, Ruth holds out hope for a better future . . . and maybe even a second chance at love. 

The book of Ruth, and the story of Ruth and Naomi had always been one of my favorites in the Bible. Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith brings this story to life as we encounter the customs and the realities of life during this time in Bethlehem and Moab. There is a stark contrast between the pagan customs of Moabites to the truth in trust of Adonai (God) for the Israelites. I thought setting the story before the famine, and before Naomi and her family's move to Moab was interesting.  It definitely provided the backstory that allows a better understanding of Naomi's character and mindset, and appreciation of the bond her and Ruth builds in time. 

 "God blessed me more than I deserved the day He gave me you." (270) 
The story is narrated through Naomi's, Ruth's and Boaz' perspectives, and it gives insight to the times and relates to readers on a personal level.  I enjoyed the overall retelling of this story, and love the fact that actual Biblical verses were shared at the beginning of each section. In retrospect, Redeeming Grace can be a love story, between Boaz and Ruth, or between Naomi and Ruth, but one can also take it as a love story between Adonai and His people. The amount of faith that resounds throughout, even when characters were skeptical, they trust in His plan. 

One can also see the amount of research the author had done to create this story, from customs to timeline to meaning of the message. As this is the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I've read, I am in awe with how thoroughly fascinating it is to refer to the Book of Ruth as I read Redeeming Grace. I need to add the rest of her novels to my TBR for sure, especially this collection! If you love Biblical fiction with great research and brings the biblical times to life, you'll enjoy Redeeming Grace.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.




© Amanda Matilla Photography
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of The Crimson Cord, The Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the ebook novellas The Desert Princess and The Shepherdess. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. 

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