The Gar­den of Ruth

Eva Etzioni-Halevy
  • Review
By – November 14, 2011

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.

Shi­ra Kurtz is a doc­tor­al can­di­date in clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy at Fair­leigh Dick­in­son University.

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