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Naomi's Song Paperback – February 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society (February 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827608861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827608863
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The late Silverberg’s novel embellishes the biblical story of Ruth, imagining a mistreated orphan Naomi, who grows to womanhood as a burden in her uncle’s home. Rescued by her marriage to the shepherd Elimelek, Naomi is blissfully happy until a famine forces the young family to flee Bethlehem for Moab. Naomi’s husband and sons die, leaving her destitute except for her faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth; they return to Bethlehem, where Ruth remarries, securing both their futures. Written 50 years ago as a gift for her daughter, this narrative features an old-fashioned style, yet its strong, resilient female characters display an inner strength that adds a very modern, universal appeal. Silverberg touches on issues such as the role of women in a patriarchal society, but it’s the romance and adventure that will keep readers turning the pages. A natural choice for religious collections; readers wishing to learn about other biblical women may want to try Lillian Ross’ Daughters of Eve: Strong Women of the Bible (2000). Grades 6-9. --Kay Weisman

Review

"Silverberg immerses the reader in the era, giving us insights into the experiences and qualities that made Naomi such a strong and dedicated woman."—Beliefnet.com
(Beliefnet.com)

"This narrative features an old-fashioned style, yet its strong, resilient female characters display an inner strength that adds a very modern, universal appeal . . . it’s the romance and adventure that will keep readers turning pages. A natural choice for religious collections."—ALA Booklist
(ALA Booklist)

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Format: Paperback
As Naomi gives birth to her first son, Mahlon, she grips her mother-in-law's hands and promises to continue to be strong, recounting the many hardships she has already born, "I will scream and I will fight. I fought people who hated me, I fought thieving beasts, I fought the council elders, and I can fight evil spirits, too." It is a shame that Selma K. Silverberg z'l didn't live to see the publication of her excellent midrashic story of Naomi, a biblical woman who "evolved necessary convictions and courage." Following very closely to the text of the Bible's Book of Ruth, Naomi's Song imagines the life experiences of Naomi, taking her from girlhood when she is orphaned and treated horribly by her uncle's family, through her marriage and loving relationship with Elimelek with whom she worked and fought together as equals, and to when, widowed, destitute, and accompanied only by her widowed daughters-in-law, she advises them to return to their families of origin. We read of the events as they might have played out to cause Ruth to shun Naomi's advice and utter the well-known pledge to go where she goes, stay where she stays, and be buried beside her. The book ends, as does the Book of Ruth, with Ruth, the Moabitess, giving birth to Boaz's son who will carry on the name of Elimek's lineage as Naomi's grandson Oved. Lest anyone think that Biblical fiction is boring, just read the descriptions of the birth of Mahlon, the nine-month pregnant Naomi hurling rocks at the elders, the carnivorous attacks in the fields, and the sad parting of the families as Yocheved and Hanoch go north and Elimelek and Naomi go east to Moab.

This novel makes the Bible story a fantastic drama. The prose is outstanding, the characters and their emotions are beautifully imagined - an excellent read.
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By Jewish Book World Magazine on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although there have been several books about the story of Ruth, not very much has been written about the other important character in that story, Naomi. In this novel, Selma Silverberg imagines the life that Naomi had before she marries, when she was a young bride, and through the well-known story of her relationship with her daughter-in-law Ruth. Based somewhat on biblical sources and midrash, the author fleshes out the character of Naomi so readers can sympathize with her drastic turns of fortune. Naomi becomes a sympathetic character as a victim of abuse by her adoptive family and a heroine in her brave defense of Ruth. The famine that drives Naomi and her husband and sons to Moab is described in realistic terms. The tragedy of her sons' and husband's death is also related matter-of-factly. Naomi, although given more details about her life, is not fully realized as a woman with strongly felt emotions. Her story is told with scant emotion despite the horrendous experiences she lived through. For those who like biblical fiction, this is a nice addition to the body of work. Because the novel describes in some detail the abuse she suffered, it is recommended for 12 and older. Susan Dubin
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