About the book:
A modern retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth—a sweet romance about courage, loyalty, and second chances.
When Julia passes through the small town of Coldwater, driving her screeching pickup with her mother-in-law and everything she owns in the RV they’re towing, all she wants is to get Helen settled on what’s left of the family farm and hurry back to civilization.
Julia’s still mourning her husband, and so romance is the last thing on her mind. But whenever Neil Ashe shows up, the attraction between them flares—even though his divorce has left him leery of city women, and she’s not interested in muscle-bound farmers, no matter how handsome they may be.
Julia soon realizes she’s going to have to stick around to help Helen hold on to her forty-acres because someone is after them. Besides, how could she leave her mother-in-law to the tender mercies of the legalistic bullies who have taken over Bethel Church? They pick at Helen like Job’s “friends,” telling her God has cursed her. Why else would her husband and both sons die in tragic accidents?
Julia is determined to deal with everything on her own, just as she’s been doing ever since Lucas died. But Neil thinks it’s his job to make all their problems go away. Will Julia stubbornly go it alone, holding on to both her pride and the memory of her husband, or will she ask Neil to come to the rescue—and into her heart?
I was a Deborah Heal fan before I learned she was working on a series of Biblical fiction set in contemporary times. This story of Ruth and Naomi is a beautiful and timeless story perfectly fit for today. I learned a lot about the setting and fully enjoyed the characters as they played out the loyalty, despair and love that go along with making a forever commitment. I adore too-good-to-be-true heroes, even though they make me sigh into tomorrow and realize they're not perfect. That only makes them sweeter. We don't get to know Boaz's inner angst in the Bible, but the author of Holding On made an excellent and determined effort to show it.
No, it's not the time traveling adventure of her earlier series, but show Heal's versatility, and you know...in a way, we do time travel here in this story that parallels the biblical romance of Ruth and Boaz. Recommended for teens and up. Told from multiple viewpoints.
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