Ouch and Thankyou for the Poor Review
Author: Christina St Clair
May 28, 2021
I appreciate that a reader took time to write a review titled Misleading; Anti-Scriptural Content on Amazon about my book, Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women. Of course a one-star review is not great.
The reviewer says: If you're a follower of Christ seeking to learn, this book is NOT for you. This fictional story teaches mistruths such as Naomi and Boaz were lovers, Naomi's husband and sons were weak, they prayed to Rachel, etc. If you're into eastern spiritualism and the occult then go for it. Otherwise, save your money and open your Bible instead.
My novel is not in any way anti-scriptural and in fact I am a follower of Christ. My novel hopes to encourage people to explore Biblical wisdom and often describes relevant Biblical passages that the people in the story would have been familiar with. For instance, read Judges 3: 12–30 about King Ehud: quite a gruesome story.
Naomi and Boaz are never depicted as lovers. Women in those days had very little say as to husbands who were picked for them when they were young. In my novel, Naomi was always drawn to Boaz and he to her, but neither had the option to marry one another. Thus, they go on with their lives in healthy marital relationships to other people.
In the story Naomi worries about her sons and loves them deeply. The name Mahlon arises from Hebrew often taken to mean sickly, and the name Chilion in Hebrew is often taken to mean destruction. Biblical names are frequently associated with special meanings which imply something about their character. For instance, "the name Jesus is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshua, which is based on the Semitic root y-š-ʕ (Hebrew: ישע), meaning "to deliver; to rescue."
I have no idea why the reviewer thinks Mahlon and Chilion pray to Rachel, although certainly this female ancestor, Rachel, is an important Biblical icon who is revered. Here is a prayer in my novel from Boaz to God whom he calls Hashem: Hashem, Boaz cried in his mind, his eyes searching the sky. Quench our thirsting. Keep Naomi and Emilelech and their sons safe. Give strength and health to them. Bring them home to us and help us forgive them for leaving. Also, I implore you to help me find the spring and fill it to overflowing as surely as you once did for Moses and his thirsty people in the desert.
My intent was to demonstrate that Biblical women have strong important voices, just as surely as women do today, and are capable of developing their lives with or without the help of patriarchal men. In fact, women everywhere, including those in the Bible, frequently help one another in many ways even when they are from different countries. Remember how the Egyptian princess saves the Hebrew baby Moses and proceeds to hire his mother as his wet-nurse. Ruth who is a Moabite, once enemies of the Hebrews, helps Naomi who is a staunch Hebrew woman, doing her best to uphold her Jewish practices. And Naomi and Mahlon, her son, are instrumental in teaching Ruth about their faith traditions, derived from the Torah.
This review was food for thought. I hope my answers to the reviewer's comments are helpful