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Shadow Among Sheaves

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  344 ratings  ·  223 reviews
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
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Shiloh Run Press
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Nenia ⚜️ Author of Filthy Trash and Unhinged Psychos ⚜️ Campbell

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SHADOW AMONG SHEAVES is a retelling of the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz. How good a retelling of that this is, I have no idea, seeing as how I am not religious and never have been. Why am I reading christian fiction? Well, I got a copy of this from the publisher to review, and I happen to love historical romance. I was also intrigued by the idea of a christian work of historical fiction that had a woman of color as the heroine. Would
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Sarah Monzon
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ahhh!!! I feel conflicted writing this reviews. On the one hand, I love love love the premise and backdrop for this novel. A Ruth retelling with truly diverse characters—yes please! As a Moabite, Ruth would have suffered so much prejudice in Israel and the author expertly conveyed the social undertones of the Biblical story by setting this novel in Victorian England and the colonization of India. I just can’t get over it. It’s perfection. The conflicted part for me comes in the form of Barric, ...more
Loraine
Shadow Among Sheaves is my first read by author Naomi Stephens. I found her writing to flow well and pull me deep into her allegory based on the story of Ruth from the Bible.

Set in the mid 1800's in England, Neva, a woman of India, has followed her mother-in-law, Lady Hawley, back to England after the death of both of their husbands in India. Neva is well educated and comes from a wealthy Indian family. She is also quite beautiful. She could have stayed in India with her family; but, like Ruth,
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Tonya
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just finished Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens last night. I love the way that Christian fiction has changed over the past however many years. Loosely based on the story of Ruth in The Bible, Shadow Among Sheaves is the story of Rena (from India) and her mother in law, Lady Nell Hawley (England). Wow, this story just captivated me from the beginning. Author Stephens really captures the cultural and religious differences between Rena's belief systems and her sweet mother in law, Nell ...more
Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Michael
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Wow! Wow! I am...Wow! I don't even know where to begin. This is a new author and this is her debut book. However, I would have thought her a seasoned writer. This book sucked me in from the get go. This is a re-telling of the story of Ruth and Boaz. Sigh! I loved the story of Ruth so much that my husband and I recited passages from this book of the Bible in our wedding vows over thirty-five years ago. So, when I saw the description, I was all in. Now, add in flavors of Mr. Darcy from Pride ...more
Aria
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
This book is written really well. The allegory is clear - it's a Ruth retelling. The characters are real and the story is deep and vivid. It's a really good book - but the content, unfortunately, was too much for me. There were just too many mentions of prostitutes and other such things. (view spoiler) ...more
Paula Shreckhise
Shadow Among Sheaves is the debut novel by Naomi Stephens. It is a clear winner in my opinion.

This is a re-telling of the story of Ruth set in England during Victorian times. The setting puts things in perspective for me. During the uprising in 1857, Sir Allistair, his wife Nell and son Edric are living in India. Edric takes an Indian wife, Rena. Both father and son die and the two widows travel back to England. Now I can see how out of place the younger widow is in a foreign land. How will
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Deanne Patterson
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shadow Among Sheaves is the debut novel of author Naomi Stephens and what an incredible book it is. This is the retelling of the biblical Ruth and Boaz.
Rena was born in India but marries a British man. Traveling to England after his death she and her mother in law Nell are outcasts there. No one wants to hire them and they are starving. The story draws me right in . I could feel the compassion Rena has for her husband's mother Nell who she feels responsible for after his death.
Very well
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Renee
In an elegant writing style, Naomi Stephens moves Ruth & Naomi’s story to a brooding gothic setting to share the tale of determined heroine Rena, who sacrifices her dreams, her dignity, and her future to be true to her mother-in-law Nell. Rena suffers prejudice and ill-treatment by many before she is finally befriended, accepted, and loved. This is a quiet tale of those who rise above the ugliness of life to reach for what is true, noble, right, pure, and lovely. A treat for inspirational ...more
Megan
I love the story of Ruth from the Bible. I like to read retellings of it as well. When I read the synopsis for this book I saw that it contained Victorian elements and the Ruth character is from India (two things which I’m very interested in). "Shadow Among Sheaves" by Naomi Stephens is a book I ended up having mixed feelings on.

Naomi Stephens is a great writer and I love her descriptions. The pace moves fairly quickly, only lagging in a few parts. I love the concept of this story. Ms. Stephens
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Christa
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
8/14/19 on sale for 0.99

This is a retelling of the story of Ruth in the Gentry era of British history. Our Rena is an Indian woman who married a British soldier. After her husband Edric and his father die, her mother in law Nell goes back to England with nothing, and her daughter in law goes with her to take care of her.

But people are mistrustful of the foreign Rena, and she and her mother in law live in poverty until a distant cousin of Nell - Lord Barric, has pity on them and lets Rena work
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Kimberly
I am going to say right off the bat that writing a review like this actually kind of pains me. I like reading Christian fiction and the biblical story of Ruth (which this book is very loosely based on) is a favorite of mine. However, I am very sad to say that I didn’t enjoy this book. Here are my pros and cons:

Pros
• I thought it was creative to bring the Ruth story into the Victorian era.

Cons
• This is so loosely based on the story of Ruth and Boaz that is it almost unfamiliar. If you are looking
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Tamara
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shadow Among Sheaves was amazing, which is why I gave it five stars! Rena was so beautifully written on paper, it was impossible not connect with her, even though I'm not from India or a widow living in Victorian England. Her slow processing to truly leaving India(and her family) and allowing her heart to grieve the loss of her husband, and doing everything she can to make sure that Nell would be taken care of no matter what her circumstances.

I loved the slow-burning romance simmering and
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Toni Shiloh
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The prologue sucked me in and I knew this would be a tale I’d read until the very end. Which I did. No worrying of not finishing here. I loved Rena as a heroine, a woman, and just an interesting character to follow. She’s amazing and I was pulling for her through the entire story.

And that leads me to Lord Barric, because what’s a Ruth retelling without a Boaz? Barric is very stern but he has his moments of kindness that peek out every now and then. And although I wasn’t in love with him, I didn’
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Deon
Won this as a Goodreads giveaway!
Dan Curnutt
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel takes the basic story of Ruth from the Old Testament of the Bible and weaves it together with elements of Pride and Prejudice. Now, I know that wasn't the intent of the author to weave P & P into the themes, but I couldn't help but make the comparison as Lord Barric appears to deal a lot from the element of Pride in relationship to his estate. And since it is set in the time that Jane Austen was writing, it just makes sense.

But the real story is based on the Biblical Account of
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Emily Elizabeth
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this author's debut novel. This period take of the story of Ruth and Boaz is both interesting and easily captivates the reader in the story. Stephens beautifully illustrates the characters in a way that swoops you into the story within the first chapter. Personally, I enjoyed the strong female characters and their meaningful bond in the book. I quite enjoyed the strength and sass of the main female character, Rena. The author's ability to weave in cross cultural pieces ...more
Erin
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

Naomi Stephens’ Shadow Among Sheaves is a story I didn’t know I needed. An allegorical retelling of the romance between Ruth and Boaz, the novel has clear Christian themes, but I genuinely feel that Stephens’ gentle handling of the material, lyrical prose, and unique historical content grant the title appeal beyond its primary market.

I don’t want to set the bar too high, but I admit to having flashbacks to Jane Eyre while
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Sarita
This was a beautifully written debut novel by Naomi Stephens. When I saw that this was a retelling of Ruth and Boaz, I was quite excited, because that is one of my favorite Bible books. When I started this story, I wondered how the author will write a novel from such a short book, and with interesting secondary characters, like Charlie, William and Alice, and historical facts which was smoothly intertwined with the Biblical retelling, the Victorian story came to life.

The author did a great job
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Lillian
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, fiction, netgalley
Following the death of her British husband and father-in-law, Indian widow Rena relocates to England with her mother-in-law with the hope of a fresh start. While in Abbottsville, Lord Barric is torn betweeen maintain his reputation and aiding these two widows. Despite his better judgement, he is soon torn over this increasing affection for Rena.

This Victorian retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz was well done with great flow. Stephens highlights various themes that are still relevant in the
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Rose
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I am stunned by this elegant novel. It caught my attention from page one and never let go. The story is absolutely beautiful and the writing was perfect. I could not put it down even though I read it as an eBook. (Congrats to the author for that. Very few books are this way.)

This book was unique due to the fact the diversity. It was a refreshing change and I am so happy to see other countries and people groups represented in the Christian genre. The meaning of this story is clear and stays
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Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
I am of a divided mind as I write this review about this book. I want to be fair to the author, because there are several things that I liked about this book. But there’s also some things that bother me, and I want to be fair to whoever reads this review. I’m going to begin by addressing the things that I liked.

I think that Naomi Stephens writes in a flowing, elegant style. Her descriptions of the settings in this book were vivid. Her incorporation of her research into this time period in the
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Chautona Havig
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
What Do I Think of This Biblical Retelling?
Will you forgive me if I say I don’t know? I really don’t. So, I think I’m going to just give you the good, the bad, and the verdict. Maybe that’ll help me sort out my thoughts.

The good:
Brilliant writing. Seriously, this woman can spin a lovely tale that holds your attention and keeps you wanting more.
Ms. Stephens knows how to write a consistent character who holds your interest. Even Lord Barric, who is rather erratic, is consistent in being so.
The
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CRussell
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How refreshing to read a Christian fiction romance that isn’t full of poster platitudes, stale writing, and one-note characters! Stephens’ poetic, richly layered prose captures the essence of grief, suffering, and sacrificial love in this Ruth and Boaz retelling. The author depicts realistic, sinful, even wicked, characters but never glorifies them. When the “good” characters choose evil, you cringe rather than root for them. I appreciate that Stephens created characters in the same vein as the ...more
Faye
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
India born widow, Rena Hawley returns with her also widowed mother-in-law to the homeland of her late husband. In England she is met with disdain, and shamed for her exotic heritage. Rena works hard to help provide for herself and Nella, but the only productive work she can find is to glean in Lord Barric's field picking up what is left behind by the harvesters.



Lord Jack Barric is intrigued by the beautiful woman who has come to glean in his fields, he allows her to stay and even arranges a
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J.
I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, this book totally blew me away.

I hadn't heard of it until I got an invitation from Netgalley, and I'm so glad they read me right! I love Jesus and I love reading, but I typically stick with classics and YA, because adult books tend to be inappropriate and the few Christian novels I've attempted have sometimes been painfully cheesy or poorly written.

I am happy to report that Shadow among Sheaves is neither. I
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Fiction Aficionado
What a fantastic idea for a book! The story of Ruth and Boaz has to be one of the most beautiful and well-loved stories in the Bible, and I love the idea of retelling that story in a different time and place. This particular time and setting worked really well because Rena’s situation brought out similar racial, cultural, and religious issues to those Ruth would have struggled with as a Moabitess trying to assimilate into Jewish culture. It was interesting, too, to learn a little bit about ...more
Lucy
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to this story because I love the book of Ruth. It is a retelling and sweeps you away to 1861 England. This brings to life what it was like to grovel for food and housing in a country you are an outcast and how difficult it was to just exist without giving up. It was a different time and difficult for women who were widows. I loved The relationship that Rena and Nell shared and the sacrifices they made..The descriptions of the times and settings were wonderful but I had trouble ...more
Heidi Goehmann
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is expertly woven. It is tender and triumphant, allowing the characters to each have their moments of sadness, joy, guilt, growth, and grace. I love Biblical allegory and this was an artful one. The best allegories make you want to go back and read the original story so that you can see where the pieces of the story fit together and I couldn’t help but open the Book of Ruth three times while I was reading, which says something because it’s one of my least favorite books! I also felt ...more
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ACPL Online Book ...: Historical inspiration 1 5 Apr 10, 2019 07:41AM  

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Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a B.A. in English from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, and an M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

In bookstores, Naomi gravitates towards 19th-century British novels—the broodier the better (i.e., Jane Eyre)—but she can also be found perusing the young adult, mystery, and fantasy sections.
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