About the Book
A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz
The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.
Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.
In My Opinion
A retelling of Ruth set in Victorian England with a heroine from India? Sounds like a great read, right? I mean, it’s got a great redemptive story, set in a time period of great upheaval with some diversity mixed in there.
Well, let me start by saying the story is very loosely based on Ruth. Much of this book is the story of Ruth moving with her mother-in-law to England and the struggles and prejudice she faces as both an outsider and an enemy. While it gave me lots of background into Rena’s life, it was a little difficult to get into. Yet, I did appreciate Rena’s search for God as He was completely foreign to Rena before meeting her (now deceased) husband.
I also loved the settings. Naomi Stephens gives readers tastes of both Victorian England and life in India during this time period. From the summer through harvest and on into winter, readers are carried with the seasons.
But, I did not love Lord Barric in this book. The man’s moods shifted too fast and too often. He refuses to admit his true feelings for Rena, even to the point of pushing her off on someone else at one point. Yes, there is gossip and his position to consider but (and I will admit I’m basing this off all the other books I’ve read) men married below their station all the time. And for it to take what I considered a manipulation from Rena for Barric to admit to himself what he truly wanted, didn’t sit right with me.
However, I would still give pass this book along to friends and family to read because of those first few strengths with the following content warning: there are a few curse words (three by my count) in this book.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255