AUTHOR: H.B. MOORE
PUBLISHER: Covenant Communications, Inc.
PUBLISHED: First Printing Dec. 2017
GENRE: Fiction, Historical Romance, Religious.
FORMAT: Paperback, 219 pages.
IDENTIFICATION: ISBN 978-1-52440-428-4
MY REVIEW: 5 Stars out
REVIEW TITLE: “CAPTIVATING RETELLING OF A TREASURED ACCOUNT FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT”
RUTH is a fictionalized novelization based upon the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. It is the account of one woman’s conversion from her Moabite upbringing to that of her husband’s Hebrew faith, how she reinforced her conversion to that faith after her husband’s death, and how God blessed her life as a result of her faithful devotion to the Gospel and living a life of selfless discipleship.
As one who has long been intrigued by the story of Ruth as recorded in the Holy Bible, I was curious to see how author H.B. Moore could take what little we know from four chapters in the Old Testament and create a fiction novel. I was very pleased with the author’s work and applaud her skill and talent in creating a captivating read while maintaining a stronghold to the scriptural account.
From the first sentence of chapter one, it’s clear that this is a personal story and H.B. Moore intends its reading as an account of “what could/might have been” for Ruth of the Old Testament. As a result of the death of Naomi’s sons, including Ruth’s husband, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, set out to take a pilgrimage of uncertainty as they seek the support of their selves with full reliance on and faith in the Lord. In an ancient society which primarily favors men more highly than women, it was a daunting yet courageous journey that these two women took. Theirs was not an easily traveled journey, and their difficulties and challenges continued after their arrival in Bethlehem where they hoped to gain favor with Naomi’s kinsmen. With the help of relatives and acquaintances of their mutual faith, Ruth and Naomi demonstrate endurance, and create a life of sustenance and continued hope. Most importantly, there is a vivid depiction of Ruth’s determination to not only survive but to thrive by clinging to her conversion to the Hebrew faith as her compass for her life’s decision making.
I particularly enjoyed the way H. B. Moore portrays the interactions and develops the relationship between Ruth and Boaz. I also greatly enjoyed Ruth’s gumption to do whatever it took to maintain her virtue and demonstrate honor for her faith, her late husband, and her mother-in-law by holding firmly to her converted faith. Her character was inspirational. As a reader, it reminded me that throughout one’s life, we might need to declare our conversion of faith again and again to demonstrate our sincere steadfast dedication to the Lord and his holy words, and thereby stay our course.
The setting is vivid in the reader’s mind with descriptions that tap into all the senses. The story successfully utilizes cultural customs, clashes of difference in belief systems, the manner of dress/fashion of the period, the daily life in the home and community. Likewise illustrated throughout the story are examples of the hierarchy within the Hebrew family structure and the vulnerability yet the importance of women especially in sustaining life during harsh/desperate circumstances. It was easy to follow the perspective of the storytelling from chapter to chapter due to the author’s chapter headings illustrating either Ruth or Boaz, thus keeping the reader’s interest and comprehension anchored. The secondary characters, both historical and fictional, provide conflict, interest, depth, and dimension resulting in an enjoyable and rich story.
Overall, the story of Ruth is a victory of the human spirit, triumph over trials and adversity, based on a foundation of religious conversion. Author H.B. Moore successfully brings significant emotional value to the satisfying conclusion of her portrayal of the story of Ruth with an honorable marriage to Boaz and a posterity for which she had long desired. This novel is well-crafted and very enjoyable to read.
I consider RUTH to be my favorite read of 2018 thus far. I enjoyed it so much that I will be including a copy in the GIVEAWAY that my writer’s website will be hosting later this year during National Authors Week. After reading this novel and drafting a preliminary review, RUTH garnered some rather prestigious literary recognition:
- BEST OF STATE - UTAH 2018: LITERARY ARTS, FICTION
- FINALIST, HISTORICAL ROMANCE - 2018 WHITNEY AWARDS COMPETITION, LDSTORYMAKERS.
I give this novel a strong favorable recommendation for reading. It will appeal to both female and male readers across generations, and it will have particular appeal to readers who enjoy reading novels based upon accounts recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
ALICE M. BATZEL
Published Playwright, Journalist, Freelance Writer
Review posted 6/25/2018 on:
Reviewer’s website (Reviews, 2018 #1)
Author notified 6/26/2018 via:
Facebook Notification of Review posted 6/26/2018 on:
Reviewer’s Facebook page
Review posted (6/26/2018) on: