Monday, November 05, 2007

The Road Home

Tenney, Tommy & Mark Andrew Olsen. 2007. The Road Home. Bethany House.

This book is a 'modern retelling of Ruth's ancient story.' And while I had a few reservations about it before I began reading it, I must say that overall I really enjoyed this one. The names are the same--Ruth, Naomi, Orpah, Boaz in this retelling. Ruth and Orpah are from Las Vegas. Ruth is the daughter of migrant farm workers. She spent a good many years in foster care after being sexually abused in her own home. In her adulthood, she worked as a cocktail waitress. Orpah, well, she's an exotic dancer. First of all, this is a story within a story. The opening lets us see Ruth as an old woman looking back on her life--all the people and places she's known. She's passing down her legacy in a way through telling this story. But this narrative really just opens and closes the novel. The majority of the book is set in modern-day America. The book really begins when Ruth and Orpah lose their husbands in quick succession. The three women are devastated, and a new plan is formed. Naomi wants to go back home to her Mennonite community. Ruth wants to go with her. You know how the story goes. Ruth and Naomi set out on a wild road trip. They barely have enough money, and their car...well, it's beyond old. It would take a miracle for the two to arrive safely. Along the journey, Ruth and Naomi share some good times--good talks--about life, about death, about heartaches and disappointments. Can the two women find a way to start over?