Naomi and Her Daughters

Walter Wangerin Jr, Zondervan, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-310-65196-3
The indomitable and prolific pastor/teacher/author Wangerin, who most recently wrote about wrestling with inoperable cancer (Letters from the Land of Cancer), adds to his imaginative retelling of religious history with this midrashic amplification of the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. The matriarch Naomi is given a detailed backstory: long before Ruth agrees to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi, go where she goes, and accept her god, Naomi has an adopted daughter Milcah, whose brief life is tragic and compelling. Ruth's husband, Boaz, is also given a history and family, as is the Moabite Ruth herself. The author is in his element; he knows the Bible, its cadence in English, and its terse and suggestive mythopoeic style. Women readers for whom the Bible is important will especially appreciate the valorizing focus of Wangerin's sensitive work. A short but profound tale from the Bible comes alive in the author's capable hands; while general readers can enjoy this, it is an obvious choice for church-based book groups. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Fiction
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