In her second novel, the author portrays the life of Ruth the Moabite, the ancestor to King David. Through the curiosity and inquisitiveness of Osnath, a young girl who comes to live with David’s family, Ruth’s story is slowly revealed by way of a scroll that she had written years before recounting her life story. The scroll reveals Ruth’s love affair with a mysterious man who is only referred to in the Bible as “the unnamed.” As Osnath learns of Ruth’s secrets and writes her own scroll depicting Ruth’s life, she is requested by Ruth’s descendants to conceal much of the newly uncovered revelations. Her finished scroll is presumably the scroll of Ruth as we have it today.
Etzioni-Halevy gives insight into two separate but related biblical stories and families, that of Osnath, who is in the house of David, and of Ruth. She intertwines the two narratives, revealing stories of love, grief, and perseverance that befall both of the books’ heroines. This style further provides an intriguing and captivating novel for readers with any level of biblical knowledge. Historical note.