After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again.
Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee. How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock?
Betty Thomason Owens was born in an Army hospital in the Pacific Northwest but grew up in California, Tennessee, and Kentucky. An avid reader and storyteller from a young age, she didn’t begin a writing career until her late thirties. In 2011, she attended a local writers conference where she was encouraged to continue writing. After self-publishing a couple of fantasy novels, she received a contract for her first historical romance series. Her stories often feature strong women dealing with difficult life situations. Many also contain an element of suspense. Now a multi-published writer of historical romance, suspense, and fantasy fiction, she and her husband reside in Kentucky. They have three grown sons and seven grandchildren. You can learn more about her at BettyThomasonOwens.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Annabelle's Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens is my favorite book by Betty to date. I love the way she took the classic story of Ruth and Boaz and set it in a 1950's Tennessee community. I enjoyed the characters and the way they interacted. Also, she portrayed the prejudice that was so prevalent in the south during this period of time in a realistic manner. I can't wait to read her next novel. This book is well worth the read. I loved it!
I thoroughly enjoyed this 1950's-era retelling of the biblical story of Ruth. Connie and Annabelle are both such sympathetic characters. The depiction of Tennessee was very well done. The blossoming love between Connie and Alton was sweet. And I loved the dog! I highly recommend this book!
This beautifully crafted retelling of the biblical story of the Book of Ruth, brought forward to and set in the racially turbulent American south of the 1950s, stays true to the essence of the original.
The story gripped me from the beginning when Annabelle Cross and her two daughters-in-law lose their husbands off the coast of California when their fishing boat capsizes. Following the biblical narrative, one daughter-in-law leaves Annabelle to return to her parents, but native Hawaiian born Connie stays and they both travel to Annabel’s home in Tennessee. Most of the locals are happy to have Annabelle home again, but a few whisper that Connie is mixed-race mulatto.
Figuratively speaking, I wanted to bite my nails when one of Annabelle’s close relatives, a powerful local man who might have be involved in some shady deals, dearly wanted for her to be forced to leave Tennessee and to take that daughter-in-law with her.
Where the biblical Ruth picked wheat, Connie struggles with mourning for her dead husband and hides her pregnancy as she does the back-breaking labor of picking cotton. Alton, who owns the fields (her “Boaz”) takes note and has compassion for her. I loved the relationship of Connie and Alton growing from mutual respect to a deep love.
A good clean romance based on the book of Ruth. Set in a time when women were at the mercy of their men folk. Two women must overcome economic hardship and grief after the deaths of their husbands. The heroine must bear racial discrimination in a land far from her home. Luckily, she wins the respect and love of a good man who is always there whenever they need him. The meeting of their two families brings truth, completion and healing to both sides. I recommend this book to old fashioned romantic especially lovers of biblical romances. I hope more romance authors will base their books on Ruth. It's definitely one of my favourites.
Owens produced a fun read. Knowing the Biblical account of Ruth made the major plotline somewhat predictable. But, the character development and placement carried the story to keep me turning the pages. Annabelle’s Ruth triggered a lot of memories of the early 1950’s (for me, in a small southern Illinois town) so it was easy for me to envision and experience Annabelle’s and Ruth’s surroundings. Historically adventurous, a touch of romance, and a generous dose of intrigue. Good formula and well executed.
This beautiful retelling of the story of Ruth held my attention from start to end. Though I knew the biblical account, Owens provided a fresh spin on the kinsman-redeemer story by setting it in Tennessee during the racially charged 1950's. I appreciated her attention to historical detail in the book and highly recommend it!
In Annabelle's Ruth, Betty Thomason Owens tells a poignant story of two women, Annabelle and Connie, that is deeply reminiscent of the Biblical story of Ruth, as the title implies. Annabelle and her daughters-in-law, one of whom is Connie, all lose their husbands at the same time in a boating accident. For Annabelle, it is a severe loss. She must sell the house to afford burial for her husband and move from California back to her home in Tennessee.
Connie loves her mother-in-law, and can't bare to lose her as well. She follows Annabelle to her family in Tennessee, but as a Hawaiian, she isn't easily accepted by many.
This beautiful story is told gently and thoughtfully--trademark of Betty's writing. Readers of women's fiction will enjoy this one.
Half-Hawaiian Connie Cross married an American sailor when he was based in Hawaii, and he moves her to San Diego. One day he, his father, and brother, die in a boating accident. Connie's sister-in-law returns to her parents' home, but Connie can't go back to Hawaii. She joins mother-in-law in a move to Annabelle's hometown in Tennessee. They have a rough time at first. The first relative Annabelle approaches would love to throw them out of the state. His brother Alton offers them a rundown cabin that he modernizes. Despite being pregnant, Connie toils in Alton's fields, picking cotton.
A sweet modern version of the Biblical story of Ruth.
The tone and atmosphere of this Appalachian-feel story was so realistic I felt like I was living in 1950's Tennessee. The dialect was perfect, the setting beautifully described, and the characters completely identifiable.
As the title indicates, this is a modern day retelling of the story of Ruth. The Naomi character is named Annabelle, and the Ruth character is Connie. That's the overall story, but in the details this is a story about relationships. Connie's love for her mother-in-law, her love for her husband and unborn child, and her growing love for another man.
I've read several of Owens' books, and I think this is the best.
This was a nice, light, uplifting story. It's not too in-depth with plot twists or character development, but it's a simple, straightforward story with romantic elements and an overarching Christian message.