At times it reads like poetry…
“She is the woman at the window, whom artists of every nation have beheld, but always from the outside of her house. And her eyes are always faraway…She is the mother of Sisera, whose son once commanded the armies of Canaan.”
At times it reads like the directions in a screenplay…
“Ruth sleeps soundly. A breeze moves in the room. Naomi shivers…Naomi finds herself on her hands and knees. No staff, no robe, she crawls outside.”
Interesting…as is the fact that each chapter of Naomi and Her Daughters alternates between The Past and The Present, with each written in past tense, and then present tense, respectively. Despite these style choices made by author Walter Wangerin Jr., which initially presents a challenge, the story eventually begins to draw you in.
The book fictionalizes the Old Testament Bible story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, taking some creative liberties with additional characters such as Naomi’s “adopted” daughter Milcah, whose story constitutes the first section of the book (and none of the biblical account), with Ruth and Boaz taking the spotlight in sections 2 and 3.
Okay, so this is starting to sound like a boring book report. I suppose that’s because the unusual style choices stand out in my mind even more than the story, which I did enjoy quite a bit once I became used to the alternating tenses. (Amanda HATES reading in present tense…she is annoyed and hopes the entire book isn’t written that way. She sighs.)
The actual book of Ruth in the Bible is a great read and one I’d recommend every mother read aloud to her teen daughters, like I did with My Daughters over breakfast each morning for several weeks. The story is an incredible testament to a woman’s love and dedication to God and to family. And a good example of what kind of man you want your daughter to bring home from the threshing floor. Mom, meet Boaz.
[Thanks to Zondervan publishers who supplied the complimentary copy of Naomi and Her Daughters.]