Naomi ~ Beloved mother-in-law

Out of the Shadow of Ruth

Naomi’s story is over-shadowed by the much-loved romance of Ruth and Boaz, yet the book of Ruth starts with Naomi and ends with Naomi.

Ever heard of God's Scrub Bucket? Hint: It's a country. Read more here: Share on X

“The book may be named after Ruth, but Naomi was the one Ruth followed into a relationship with Yahweh. I loved getting to know the spunky older woman who left her homeland and returned with her daughter-in-law in tow”~Tracy Crump.

It’s all very well reading about the characters who live in the shadow of the Bible Greats, but do we ever get to know them as people?

Moved from her home to God’s “scrub bucket,” Naomi lived for years in a foreign and idolatrous land. She experienced several devastating losses, before she made the first of a number of huge decisions, one that would influence the course of history for all eternity.

The first part of each chapter follow Naomi’s journey through tragedy and challenges. Will she ever know true happiness again? Although it sticks close to the Biblical version, the story is expanded slightly to allow the reader to follow the custom of the time. At the end of each chapter, there is a pause for readers to reflect on what they have read and how it may apply to them.

Why should you read about Naomi?

I want you to get to know this brave woman of faith, as I bring her out of Ruth’s shadow.

The book is written in creative non-fiction, a genre which deals with facts written in story format. It comprises 43 short stories telling the Old Testament book of Ruth from Naomi’s point of view. It is not a work of fiction, but in order to bring the story alive, there are some embellishments to help you relate to the story.

How to read this book:


  1. Read it through as a story, pausing at the reflections as you go.
  2. Or use it with friends or an established Bible Study group.

Scripture readings?

The Scripture readings are very short and there may even be  the same reading for consecutive chapters.

I pray you will enjoy getting to know Naomi as she steps out of the shadow of Ruth, her beloved daughter-in-law.

The Bible book of Ruth begins with Naomi and ends with Naomi. Now get to know her: Share on X

Excerpt: The story commences:

Naomi, wife of the prosperous landowner Elimelech, stared at her husband in horror. “We’re what?”

“We’re moving.”

“Where to?”


“Moab? God’s scrub bucket? Those people are brutal. You want us to live with people who slaughter their infants to Chemosh? Is that what you want for our family?”

“Just as well we don’t have infants anymore, then. We won’t stay there forever, only long enough for Bethlehem to recover from the famine. We have to eat, Naomi.”

She drew a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “So what must I pack? There’s no point in talking. You’ve obviously made up your mind already.” She turned to flounce from the room, then she turned abruptly. “How long will we be there? What can we take with us? This is the craziest idea I’ve heard. If we’re going to walk all the way, we can take no furniture and hardly anything else.”

“We will take the wagon, and I will see if I can procure a camel,” Elimelech replied.

“Hmmph. How much can we carry on a camel? And how long is ‘not forever’ anyway?” Naomi left the room with a flourish.

Now you need to read the book . . .

Get your copy of the paperback or e-reader here:

Get Your Copy

If you enjoy it, I would love you to post a review on Amazon or any other place that sells the book. Thank you.

N.B. The top image is the new cover. The second one is the previous version. I need to hear from you. Which do you prefer?

CHOSE A COVER: Top image is the new cover. The second one is the old version. I need to hear from you. Which do you prefer? Share on X


Naomi –  Beloved Mother-in-law is book 4  in a growing series of books based on women in the Bible that lived under the shadow of some other person, location, or event. 

Also available 

Other books by Shirley:

Click here then select “Published Work”

Contact Shirley:

Would you like to be kept in touch through my newsletter? I promise never to share your email with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I won’t fill your inbox with spam, and you will only hear from me normally once a month unless I have extra-breaking news in which case it will just be a “postcard” to update you.

Sign up here


Email me:

Amazon Author Page