Wednesday, February 01, 2012

CFBA: Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks

Song Stuck on the Brain: NCIS theme song. We're watching season 2 on dvd. Love NCIS, and it's a real toss up who's the favorite character. Gibbs is probably the best looking, but McGee is geekalicious. :) Even Ducky has a special spot in my heart.

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:

Ruth's Redemption

Moody Publishers/Lift Every Voice (February 1, 2012)


Marlene Banks


I've read a lot of civil war era fiction, some did their best to shine a light on the reality for African Americans at that time, but none presented it as well or realistically as Marlene Banks did in Ruth's Redemption.

Although there are some surface attempts at connecting it to the Bible story of Ruth and Boaz, such as character names and a few well timed phrases, I didn't really see it as retelling of the story of Ruth. And I was perfectly fine with that, because the story of Ruth I did get was just as compelling. The author doesn't avoid any of the 'ugly' that was reality for slaves. It's not sugar coated or watered down, neither is it crass or gratuitous. The vernacular and setting sends you back in time and although it's not always a comfortable place to be, the story of redemption make it worth the trip. Ruth isn't the only one finding redemption either. Bo finds healing as well and their journey together provides a love story that shines all the brighter for the ugliness they over come.

The story provoked very strong emotions for me, anger, disgust, fear and finally compassion. Be prepared to walk more than a mile in Ruth and Bo's shoes in the dusty lanes of Virginia.


Set in the 1800s, Ruth's Redemption, is an unusual depiction of the lives of slaves and free blacks in pre-Civil War America. Bo, a main character, was educated while a slave. He was given his freedom and now owns a farm buying slaves for the sole purpose of giving them their freedom.

Bo is also a man of God and widower whose life is destined to change when he meets the proud and hard-hearted slave girl, Ruth. Ruth has known nothing but servitude and brutality since being separated from her mother at age thirteen. Purchased and sold primarily for breeding, Ruth struggles to adjust to life outside of bondage. She wants no part of Bo's Godly devotion. Yet Bo is unlike any man she's known and her experiences with him will leave her forever changed.

A gripping slave era novel, Ruth's Redemption is a story of love, forgiveness, and redemption. Set against the backdrop of the Nat Turner Rebellion in Tidewater, Virginia, this novel shines the light of God's unconditional love in the darkness of a culture's cruel socially accepted inhumanity.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ruth's Redemption, go HERE.


Marlene Banks has worked 30+ years combined in nursing and the business arena. Her goal as a writer is to create inspiring, gripping and realistic stories with an emphasis on African American literature. She believes her gift and desire to write is from God and desires to use it to fulfill His purposes. Marlene lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she is a member of Bethel Deliverance International Church.

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