Book Review- Unshaken by Francine Rivers

Author: RIVERS, Francine
Publication Information: Wheaton III: Tyndale House [2001]
Series: Lineage of Grace
Personal Subject: Ruth
Language: English
Title Subject: Bible, Old Testament- History of Biblical Events
Genre: Biographical fiction, Religious fiction
ISBN: 9780842335973

Unshaken is the story of Ruth, a Moabitess, who married into the home of a Jew. Ruth who was from a very rich family was humble despite the fact that her husband’s family was poor. She admired her mother-in-law Naomi’s faith in her God and she longed to know the God of Israel whom Naomi put all her trust in and never stopped praying to. When Ruth’s husband Mahlon was sick, Ruth did not pray to the gods of Moab, rather she trusted in the God of Naomi.

After Mahlon died, Ruth stayed with her mother-in-law as expected, and when the mourning period was over, Naomi decided to go back to home to Bethlehem. Ruth and her Sister-in-law Orpah wanted to follow her back to Bethlehem but Naomi told them to go back. Orpah gladly went back to her parents’ house while Ruth insisted that she would follow her mother-in-law, thereby turning her back on her family. Naomi tried convincing her to go back but Ruth told her she also trusted in the God of Israel to protect them both, even to protect her from the animosity that’ll be directed at her in Bethlehem. Naomi was shocked at the love expressed by a Moabitess, so she took Ruth under her tutelage. Naomi and Ruth made the journey to Bethlehem despite the hardship.

On getting to Bethlehem, Ruth was not accepted and Naomi was not welcomed into any of the homes of her kinsmen, so she had to live in a cave with Ruth. The time they got back to Bethlehem was a season of Feasts, which made Ruth sell the last of her possessions, trusting God for provision when all was finished. When Naomi told Ruth about the freedom of the poor to glean from fields, Ruth thanked God for His provision and went to the fields to glean. She was treated badly in the first few fields she went to until she got to the field of a man named Boaz who allowed her to glean freely in his fields and offered her protection and feeding.

Ruth’s beauty attracted men to her, including Boaz. However, Boaz tried to present himself as a fatherly figure to her until Naomi noticed his attraction to her and also the unusual attraction of Ruth to him, then she arranged for their marriage, as Boaz was a member of her husband- Elimelech’s clan. Boaz married Ruth as expected of him, due to the inability of the Rishon, another member of the clan, to do so. Naomi helped Ruth and Boaz realized their love for each other, and they lived together loving God and loving each other.