Over the past couple of weeks, I have been really enjoying reading some fiction books. There is something about having a world to escape to now and then that is very relaxing and helps me recharge. Dave has even taken the kids a couple of nights after tea for some play time and I’ve managed to get a little extra reading in- very therapeutic! What have I been reading you ask?
“Redeeming Grace” – Jill Eileen Smith (2017, Revell) is a fictional book about Ruth in the Bible. Smith writes biblical fiction. I feel this would be a challenging genre to write in- the Bible is God’s word and needs to be treated as such, yet there is so much we don’t know about the characters. When you find an author who accurately includes all the details we do know, and then uses creative license to ‘flesh out’ the rest, it can be really enjoyable to read. A caution though is that as a reader, we need to go back to the Bible and refresh our minds as to what actually is fact, and what is outside the scope of the Bible. Smith’s writing treats God’s word with the precious respect it needs- she interweaves historical truth and truths of the law, along with word for word passages of Scripture to give her writing a solid Biblical foundation. After reading “Redeeming Grace”, I had a new found appreciation for what life could have actually been like for Ruth- first as a Moabite and then as a Moabite grafted in to the Israelite nation. This novel also brought the suffering of Naomi alive- to lost a husband and then both sons while living in a foreign nation would have been so soul-wrenching- no wonder she asks people to call her Mara! This is part 3 in the series “Daughters of the Promised Land” (I have also read the first two and highly recommend these also!)
“The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill”- Julie Klassen (2016, Bethany House). In case you don’t know by now, I love a good dose of history and some romance. Jane Austen or the miniseries North and South (on Netflix!) are favourites! Julie Klassen writes Christian period romances and with this book, the first in a new series, she doesn’t disappoint. In this book, she writes of Jane Bell, a genteel widow to an working Innkeeper who inherits the rundown inn, along with the debt on her husband’s mysterious death. Jane feels completely out-of-her-depth, yet needs to find a way to keep the inn alive for her future and that of her employees. Throw in a meddling mother-in-law, a deceptive brother-in-law and some promising male suitors and you have a recipe for a plot that keeps you guessing. I am looking forward to reading the next books in this series.
Both books are available from Koorong.