One genre I’ve grown to really enjoy, thanks to a handful of solid authors, is biblical fiction. When an author is committed to scripture and research, beautiful works are the result. One such person? The lovely Tessa Afshar. In her latest, we dive into the intriguing world of Ruth with In the Field of Grace.
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.
Ruth is such a beautiful story and not only did this read bring to life the culture and historical time period, but I really enjoyed how Afshar brought to life Boaz, Ruth and Naomi. One such way I wasn’t expecting? Diving more into their individual lives of both Ruth and Boaz before their lives crossed paths.
Another favorite piece of the story was the side stories. Ruth and Boaz’ lives affected many people and I appreciated Afshar bringing that to readers (Dinah, Adin, etc). These people helped to understand our main characters more as well as how life was back then. While Harvest of Rubies still holds the title as my favorite Afshar novel :), I still enjoyed the sweet story of Boaz and Ruth.
Have y’all had a chance to read any of Tessa’s novels? She also recently won a Christy Award for Harvest of Gold too!
(Thank you to River North Fiction for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
“Nehemiah rolled up a parchment and tapped its end against his palm. “Because I believe I was called to this. What do you think destiny is? A smooth path that never jostles you? No. When you walk in your destiny, you will crash and fall more times than you can count. But the secret is to hold on to God’s vision for your life—and for the lives of those He puts under your charge. No matter how many times you fall, crash, and fail, you get up. You get up and face your obstacles.”
Continuing with the story of Sarah and Darius, Harvest of Gold, by the incredible story teller Tessa Afshar, takes us back into the days of Artaxerxes and one of the greatest empires the world has ever known: the Persian Empire.
In Harvest of Gold (Book 2) the scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband’s love still seems unattainable.
Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother’s people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?
A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.
I love all of Tessa’s books. Her writing style, her research and her stories are wonderfully written and they keep you turning the pages. Harvest of Gold was no different: it makes me want to read the first one again. What an era of history she brings to life! The world run by an Empire, which we will probably never fully grasp, the politics, the uprisings, the contrast between rich and poor. oh man! I wouldn’t mind traveling back in time to see some of it. It’s such an intriguing backdrop to a story.
I think another aspect to a great novel is a great supporting cast. I loved the side characters in this one (especially Lysander and Roxanna). I hope more releases come out with some of these characters! Hint, hint :). I want to story to continue because it’s such fantastic biblical fiction!
Plus, can we all give a shout out to the brilliant bolds that make up all of her covers? I love them! What do y’all think?
(Thank you Moody Publishers for the review copy!)
Before I announce the winner from 4 Questions with Tessa Afshar blog post, I want to say thank you! It’s been fun to see the blog grow (and looking forward to more growth in 2013) in its first year of existence. This will be the last post for 2012 with Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, which means I will be eating, living it up in Cali for a few days, hanging with the fam, especially a really cute red head and more eating.
I have some fun and exciting ideas for the next year, lots more reviews and of course more 4 Questions with more amazing best-selling authors, so I hope you’ll join me! Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
And now….Congrats to Faith! I sent over an email, so be sure to check your inbox!
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Looking forward to 2013! See you then!
She is the kind of author whose books I actually want to own. It’s not just enough to check them out from the library or have them on my kindle. I need actual copies in my library. As I mentioned a while ago in a review of one of her books, that’s one way I know a good author, I
need want the books! So I was really excited when I found out she would be doing an interview!
It’s amazing to see all that she has accomplished as a writer in such a short period of time. I feel like this confirms what I’ve been saying 🙂 That’s she is an amazing and gifted writer! Just check out her bio:
Tessa 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 cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.
Hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!
1. What is something about your life right now that you would never have imagined 5 years ago?
Five years ago, being published was a mere dream. Yet here I am, having just finished my third novel, Harvest of Gold, which will come out in July 2013. I spent so many years of my life wishing to be a writer, and doing little about it. Finally, one New Year’s Eve as I was praying, I felt a sense of urgency. It seemed to me that if I delayed any longer, I would miss my opportunity. That was the week I began writing Pearl in the Sand, my first novel, based on the story of Rahab, which was published in 2010.
2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would become a Christian much sooner!
3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I’m not sure that I could choose one. I tend to find happiness in small things. For example, this summer I attended a conference where the worship time was so rich, I thought I would burst. Falling in love with Jesus was a season of profound joy, in spite of the fact that I faced many difficulties at the time. Landing a desired job in Christian service, buying my first home, writing my first book, receiving that first contract. Life offers so many unforgettable moments of happiness.
4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That their worth is not in what they achieve or how much they own or what they look like. Their true identity lies in the love of a glorious God who wants to be their Father.
And now…the giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, feel free to share on twitter, facebook or follow Books and Beverages (you can leave another comment with the link for each one if you do!). Just to switch it up, I’ll let you choose which one you want if you’re the winner! You can choose between Pearl in the Sand: A Novel or Harvest of Rubies. Both are fantastic, so be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:59 (CST) and I’ll announce the winner next week!