I always thought of Ruth as a mousy woman, with little personality. She kind of just got through everything quietly, albeit with great determination. She sort of sneaks through the story of the megilla, as a secondary charachter, which is funny considering the megilla goes by her name. But that was always my impression when reading Megillat Ruth.
Thinking about it though, I realize that impression is completely wrong. Ruth is a paradigm of strength of charachter. She is the central figure of the story, but succeeds in making herself sort of blend into the background at the same time.
Ruth, we must remember, is the daughter of the king of Moab. She is a princess of one of the greatest nations of the time! By no way could she possibly be timid, mousey, or non-descript. Not coming from where she came from.
With her whole future open before her as a princess of Moab, she changed directions. She felt she had found the truth. "Your God is my God, your nation is my nation."
She did not waver, but stayed the course. She found the truth and decided she had to live her life by it, no matter what the hardships would be. It is not easy to be a convert. I am sure she knew she would be up for hard times, especially after her husband died. It is not easy to be a convert to any nation, not just Judaism, so she knew what she was getting into. And she went ahead with it anyway.
Ruth persisted and found her way to Boaz and the leader of the nation. And she did everything in a tzanua fashion. She was not loud and boisterous. She did not stick out. So much so that she comes off as a secondary charachter in her own book!
Ruth was worthy of being the grandmother of Kind David, King Solomon and the future Mashiach.