Shadow Among Sheaves

Shadow Among Sheaves

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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Title:Shadow Among Sheaves
Author:Naomi Stephens
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Shadow Among Sheaves Reviews

  • 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,

    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, pledged to stay with her mother-in-law who now only has distant cousins. But neither of them have a way to support themselves while waiting to see if Lady Hawley will inherit her husband's estate.

    Several things about this story intrigued me. First, the fortitude of both Rena and Lady Hawley. I can not imagine sleeping in the places they slept, existing on what little food they found, and accepting what little charity that was given them. Second, the horrible treatment that Rena received due to her race. Even though she was the widow of an English military officer, that made no difference in how most of the people of Lady Hawley's town perceived her and anyone who associated with her. It made me think of how in childhood kids would say things like "keep away from her/him. He/she has cooties." But this was not just a funny game. It impacted both Rena and Lady Hawley every minute of every day. Finally, Lord Barric struggled with his feelings about mixed race relationships; but even while he was struggling, he continued to try and help Rena and Lady Hawley behind the scenes.

    The spiritual element in this story was very strong. It was nice to see the roles that Lady Hawley, Lord Barric, William and Alice all played in not only growing their own faith; but also showing their faith in how they treated Rena so that she, in turn, began to understand and know the one True God.

    An excellent read, and I look forward to more books from this author.

    **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  • Dana Michael

    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

    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 and Prejudice, (another fave of mine) then you know it is a winner in my opinion. I loved Rena, the Indian girl who was a young widow and her sweet mother in law Nell. They were so likeable and it broke my heart all of the trials and tribulations they experienced. I also loved how sacrificial Rena was in her love for Nell. Now, add in Lord Barric and I was smitten! It was a bit gritty, but a real look at life during that time for widows. It was a book that showed unconditional love and hope. This had a wonderful HEA! So, this may be my favorite or at least one of my favorite books I have read from this publisher. If you love romance, then this book is for you.

    Now, for you sensitive readers, there are a few mild curse words throughout the book, which took me by surprise, but don't let that keep you from this amazing book.

    I hope this author will write books for Alice, William and Charlie. ;)

    *I was given a copy of this book by Barbour publishing. This is my honest opinion.

  • 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 hi

    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 historical fiction lovers!

    Thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this story!

    Quotes I liked . . .

    “You think your desert sands are everything, but there is a whole world beyond this heat. Someday I will take you to England. We’ll pluck apples from the trees and lie in the grass all evening while we eat them. And then I’ll whisper in your ear all the ways I love you.”

    “But Nell. . .” Rena whispered after a moment, as if hearing his questions. “I could not watch her board that ship alone, with nothing. She begged me at the docks to stay behind in India. But Nell is my family too, as much as my parents, and I must take care of her.”

    “No. I have spent more than enough time being taken care of. We all must suffer now and then, and I am strong enough to bear it. There is no other option than to endure.”

    In the end, Rena’s own words had persuaded her to follow Nell to church that morning. “Your home is my home,” she’d said all those weeks ago, when she’d begged to remain at the woman’s side. “And everything you are and everything you love—that is all I ever wish to be.”

    “She realized she’d stopped breathing. Blessed. The word clanged around inside of her. Blessed to mourn? To feel empty? Blessed to be poor and starving, she added bitterly, to have nowhere else to turn?”

    “But I miss the sand that gathers between the tiles in the entryway of our home, and the hibiscus that grows outside my chamber. I miss the way my father’s study smells in the early evening, of spices and ink, and the way the endless heat drags on for forever, hazing the horizon until the monsoon season comes. And if you look just right from the outer terrace, you can see men and women as they walk to the market, or the crimson coats of soldiers as they pass. . . .”

  • Tonya

    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 w

    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 who is a Christian. I love the tone of this book. There are so many Christian novels that use a story to shower the reader with condemnation or conviction and this is not one of those stories. I found myself relating to both Rena and Nell (actually Nell's faith resembles my mom's unshakable faith). The story is beautifully written and does not follow the Biblical story exactly, so the reader does not know what to expect throughout the modernized story of Ruth. None of the characters are perfect (except maybe Nell, she is adorable!)

    The writing really shows the reader what it is like to come from everything and end up with nothing. Rena came from a wealthy family of influence and power in India and Lady Nell Hawley lived a life of wealth and influence. After Rena's husband passed away, within a short time Nell's husband also passes away. The horrible place that they wind up leaving in a storage room at a brothel is actually a step up from gutters and alleys for the two women. Rena's love for her husband keeps her going so that she can provide a way to take care of her mother in law. As the plot develops, the tension builds... Really good character development, writing, and flow. It inspired me to re-read Ruth in the Bible!! To spot the similarities and differences. Well done, I can not wait until the next book from Naomi Stephens!!!

    Thank you to NetGalley, Naomi Stephens, and Barbour Publishing for this ARC for me to read. As always my opinions are my own!!

  • 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 the

    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 they survive? Nell is penniless because she cannot inherit her husband’s lands or money. They are destitute and are forced to rely on relatives but no one wants to be associated with the Indian girl. They must rely on the charity of a distant cousin for their very subsistence. But people look down on Lord Barric for even giving Rena the gleanings of his fields.

    All of this plays out with the author’s wonderfully descriptive prose. She weaves a believable tale among the strictures of the times. You will recognize the parallels to the Biblical story of Ruth and Boaz. This story will stay with me for quite a while.

    Be sure and pick up a copy of this book by a fresh new voice in Christian Fiction. You will not be disappointed.

    *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

  • Sarah Monzon

    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, t

    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, the hero. I didn’t just not love him with meh feelings, I very much *dislike* him, and that’s kind of hard to do—to write a hero I should love (since it is a romance) and I end up disliking so very much. He was so mercurial. Flirting one minute then downright rude the next. Even with that, though, I’m still telling all my reader friends that they need to read this book. It’s unique and clever and the diversity is so fresh and authentic.

  • Deanne Patterson

    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 written

    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 written.

    Published April 1st 2019 by Shiloh Run Press

    I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.

    All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Christa

    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 on his land.

    All in all,

    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 on his land.

    All in all, this was an excellent setting for the retelling of Ruth. It really emphasizes how Ruth was a foreigner, and how hard it must have been for her. It’s a Christian fiction novel that isn’t too preachy either.

    I enjoyed this retelling of Ruth, and if you’re looking for a Christian fiction read, this may be the book for you.

    I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jen.

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    I have mixed feelings about this one. I honestly loved this book until the last three chapters.

    is a retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, called Rena, Nell and Lord Barric in this story. It's beautifully written and instantly captivating. It's not a happy story, but is so elegantly written, the pages literally flew by. I could not put this book down.

    Author Naomi Stephens clearly did her research into the time period and the prejudices that would be on

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    I have mixed feelings about this one. I honestly loved this book until the last three chapters.

    is a retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, called Rena, Nell and Lord Barric in this story. It's beautifully written and instantly captivating. It's not a happy story, but is so elegantly written, the pages literally flew by. I could not put this book down.

    Author Naomi Stephens clearly did her research into the time period and the prejudices that would be on Rena and Nell. Her expansion of the short book of the Bible was handled really nicely.

    Rena was especially strong and proud. She was devoted to Nell, her mother-in-law, and fought to keep her fed, safe and loved.

    Rena is from India. Combine that with being a young widow,

    is a well-written, solid debut novel. There's much to like, however, the content near the end left me really disappointed. It's absolutely worth reading, though. Ugh! See why I'm so torn? Pick this one up for yourself to decide!

  • Aria

    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.

    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.

    However, if it were cleaner, I'd totally hold the book in higher regard because except for the content, it's really enjoyable and so well-done. I love the idea of a Ruth retelling in Victorian England, and I think that the author transitioned Rena, an Indian girl, to England so well. Everything felt quite realistic. Rena was a really good character - so strong, but she was so human.

    Overall I really enjoyed this book, except for the content. :/

    *I was given a free copy of this book to review by NetGalley. These are all my honest thoughts and opinions.*

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