What a refreshing post-pandemic book! At first glance, it might not be what you were expecting. ‘An Advent Devotional’ and ‘Bethlehem skies’ do not make us think immediately of the story of Ruth. However, this is ‘the story behind the story’ (p. 1), with the twenty-five daily reflections from that story pointing consistently to Jesus.

The book is written in a very contemporary style, with modern illustrations and pithy, witty headings throughout, which makes it extremely attractive and accessible to all. I loved the song suggestions at the end of each reflection and the brilliant idea of incorporating them all into a Spotify list (which I have already recommended to family members!)

It is a thought-provoking book with lots of quotable sentences (of which I could choose at least four!) and points are made that I had not considered before. I particularly liked the contrast between the famine and harvest in Bethlehem in Ruth’s time with the spiritual famine a thousand years later and the Bread of Life, given for us. If you want a different approach to traditional advent devotionals, then this book is for you. It will help you to understand Advent ‘as an opportunity to face up to the darkness in order to appreciate the light’ (p.9), just as Naomi and Ruth had to do.

Judith Lewis, Tabernacle Welsh Baptist, Llwynhendy