Shadow among Sheaves is a retelling of the biblical story of Naomi and Ruth. The setting of Canaan is exchanged for England and colonized India, introducing a decidedly racial element. I found it to be a brilliant, insightful idea carried out beautifully.
Let’s be honest. The biblical story includes some uncomfortable elements. This book also confronts some harsh realities and sometimes surreal turns of events. As such, there are adult elements, but nothing condoning or encouraging anything inappropriate.
Not only was the overarching plot well constructed, but sometimes individual phrases leapt out to me, giving me pause. There is a real wealth to this book, in both thought and writing. There is insight, biblical reflection, and literary quality. This is a book that has lingered with me far longer than most, and I’m not even particularly a fan of historical fiction!
Christian fiction, as a genre, can be a mixed bag. This book, however, is Christian fiction I’m thrilled to recommend to others. There is an acknowledging of suffering and tension in it, even as God’s plan unfolds. And, that lends credibility to the characters. In this case, it really also helped to flesh out the time period of India’s rebellion against England and following.
I loved this book. Thank you for writing it, Naomi Stephens! I’ll keep my eye out to for your future books!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was under no obligation to post a review. The opinion and assessment is entirely my own.
PS. Remember I’m taking the rest of this week off from blogging to catch up on other things! Happy reading & writing!!
Mary Jackquelyn Moerbe (rhymes with Furby) is an LCMS deaconess, writer, speaker, and homeschooler. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Letters, a combination of history, literature, language, and philosophy, and a BA in music. Her master of arts degree is in theology with deaconess certification from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. She and her husband, Rev. Ned A. Moerbe, have six children and live in Oklahoma.
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The “Meet, Write, and Salutary” blog encourages Lutherans to write. At the same time, maybe this website is better understood as a reading, writing, and resources place.
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