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Book review: Novel 'Ruth' honors biblical Ruth's story

"RUTH," by H.B. Moore, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 214 pages (f)

“Ruth,” by LDS author H.B. Moore, brings to life the book of Ruth found in the Old Testament.

The story of Ruth and Naomi is a well-loved, timeless story of loyalty, courage and honor, contained in one of the few books of scripture bearing the name of a woman. Beginning with Ruth’s marriage to Naomi’s son, Mahlon, then continuing through his death, Ruth's marriage to Boaz and the birth of Obed, Moore weaves a believable, well-told story with just the right touch of romance.

Although the author uses the narrative provided in the scriptures as the backbone for the story, of necessity she creates additional characters, possible events, relationships and interactions to tell this nicely written piece of historical fiction.

In a previous online interview talking about her scripture-inspired stories, Moore said that her historical novels aren’t meant to replace the scriptures in any way.

“Nor are they meant to interpret the scriptures,” she said. “I hope that my novels will enhance the reader’s understanding of the time period and culture of the people.”

Moore’s familiarity with the biblical culture of the Middle East is evident in how she writes about the customs and the often detailed descriptions of everyday life. Instead of telling the tale in third person, chapters alternate between Ruth’s and Boaz’s points of view, which gives the telling an immediate and more intimate feel.

There is no swearing, other foul language or graphic sexual content, although there are scenes with discretely handled sexual innuendo and some generally described violence (fistfighting, shooting with bow and arrow).

"Ruth" is a Whitney Awards finalist in the historical romance category. The awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Moore studied at Cairo American College in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem, and graduated from Brigham Young University. Other historical fiction she has written includes “Eve: In the Beginning” and the Moses Chronicles trilogy. Her nonfiction includes “Divinity of Women,” co-authored with her father, S. Kent Brown. Her website is at

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street in Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at