"Love in a Broken Vessel" is a powerful read, one that breathes with historical authenticity and heart-rending emotion, and has left me contemplating the vast love of God. Mesu Andrews does a fantastic job at bringing to life the story of the prophet Hosea, called by God to love a prostitute as a display of God's love for his chosen people of Israel. The characters are richly drawn, with much about them to admire while still definitely showing their human side as well. Gomer is a woman that you will quickly grow to care about, even as you may find yourself shaking your head at some of her actions and her often hard-heart. I love the author's portrayal of the various prophets you meet in this story, from Hosea to Jonah to Isaiah, and I can honestly say that I have gained a deeper appreciation of the cost that they paid to honor God's calling on their lives. I found myself asking if I could ever be as bold as they were, sharing God's message to a king who could strike them dead, telling people to turn back to God even if that may end up costing them their lives. I was not only fully entertained by this story, but I was challenged in my faith as well - and that makes for a worthy novel indeed.
Biblical fiction doesn't get better than this! I award this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Choices are made every day, sometimes good ones and sometimes bad ones. Two abbas (fathers) make choices that have far reaching effects on their children and their futures as well as those around them. One abba and his son, Hosea move to Tekoa and Hosea attends the prophet school and becomes a prophet. The other abba sells his daughter, Gomer at age 12 to the temple of the gods in Israel and is abused and eventually sold as a prostitute.
The prophet Hosea is commanded by Yahweh to marry a prostitute and have children with her to show
God's people how much Yahweh loves Israel. Hosea sets out for Israel not knowing who God will direct him to marry. Arriving in Israel, Hosea seeks the prostitute Yahweh has picked for him to marry and finds his childhood friend Gomer. Gomer has no plans to marry Hosea or serve Yahweh. Struggling over the years by the choices they, Gomer and Hosea, have made affect not only their relationship, the children but many family and friends.
I like the picture of how much Yahweh (God) loves Israel and the lengths He goes to get the attention of His people to share that love with them. Not all the choices His people made were good choices, a lot were really bad choices. We get a glimpse of a few of those lives and the struggles they went through in Love In A Broken Vessel. Even though Gomer's life was a broken vessel (shattered even) Yahweh took that brokenness and redeemed it making her whole, like new. Hosea learned many things regarding loving his wife unconditionally just as Yahweh loves His people unconditionally.
I found parts of the book hard to read, almost skimmed over them at times as the book was a little long for me and repetitive. But as a whole, the book was very well written.
Recently I won a copy of Love In A Broken Vessel from Goodreads_.*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Love in a Broken Vessel is the story of the prophet Hosea and his wife, Gomer. Mesu's research and knowledge of the time and setting of the novel is vast. In her introduction, she points out where she strays or adds to the Biblical narrative in order to flesh out the story, but she always remains true the facts of what the Bible says.
As a matter of fact, Mesu Andrews is one of the few authors who earns my "Enraptured Award"! It took me three days, because of my busy schedule, to read through Love in a Broken Vessel. During those three days, my thoughts rarely strayed from the story as I thought about what had happened up to that point and what was to come. Never did I turn to the back to find out what happens, as I was simply too deeply entrenched in the story itself and I longed to watch it as it unfolded.
Mesu's writing is beyond excellent: Enough detail to put the reader firmly in Israel and Judea, but not so much as to distract from the story itself; the characters are true to themselves always, which is a really big deal for me as a reader; over and over, I was overwhelmed with the idea that not only is the story of Hosea and Gomer a cautionary tale for the Israelites (and for us today), *but it really happened*. I came away from reading this novel, as I did with Mesu's first two, with an overwhelming desire to read the Bible with fresh eyes and really understand the people behind the words that have become so familiar to me.
There aren't many novels that can do that, now are there?
Love in a Broken Vessel earns 5 stars. I received Love in a Broken Vessel at no cost via NetGalley in return for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.
Mesu Andrews does a beautiful job with this biblical fiction book about Gomer and Hosea. Love In a Broken Vessel is a book you will miss after the last page is turned. The key word is obedience. Obedience to God even when everything around you does not make sense. This is a beautiful story of how no matter how broken we are, God can still use us. We may carry the scares forever, but it will also be our testimony of God's faithfulness.
This is a book I believe is definitely worth placing on your "Must Read" list.
Mesu establishes our relationoship with Gomer in the first chapter. Shows us her heart - though not pure - understandable in the life she was shoved into, as she cleans a toddler's cheek with a spit bath. And we see the brothel owner hard and ruthless.
How beautifully God's love for Israel is described as Hosea describes it to Gomer. I liked the phrase, "Yahweh proves Himself to each one of us."
Poignant awakening of Gomer's love for Hosea in their first moments of their journey to love. The little humor tossed back and forth between the two made their growing relationship real and fun. When Gomer knew she loved Hosea - such tenderness!
Your heart goes out to Gomer as she is tortured by abandonment and she becomes real with her very real whirling emotions..loving, hating, worshipping her idols, confused, disappointed and seeking a love she could only imagine. And seeing love expressed in the most impossible situations truly a reflection of God's determined love. Yahweh's love clearly defined over and over again. How can it be?
Mesu's description of Hosea's heart crying out to the God Who understood his pain clearly reveals God's heart. 3 questions put forth: Can a man's heart be as pure as Yahweh?
Can you refuse to love without sinning?
Can you refuse to forgive without becoming bitter?
Never a lull in this amazing book that covers some of Israel's most difficult history.
God given strength to love when everything in Hosea wants to hate....HOW CAN I LOVE A HARLOT? Yet the conflict in Gomer's heart and the unescapable desire for love - true love - is always there and so identifiable.
Watching the gradual growth of Hosea's understanding of God's words to him felt familiar and exciting and like my own growth in the Lord. Asking God WHY so often brings no answer as it didn't to Hosea. And I love how God speaks and Hosea hears. How precious! A lesson for all of us to heed and listen for that breeze. Hosea longing to hear God's voice and how he responds to God's gentle breeze. That makes hearing God's voice a possibility for all of us listening.
I must echo CBA Retailers & Resource's word on Love Amidst the Ashes for this book. "Mesu's research shines through on every page as she delves deeply into the cultural, historical and Biblical records to create this fascinating and multilayered tale."
Hosea's love carried a passion your heart will sing over and their children were an added delight. When Gomer finally said, "I know now that Yahweh sounds like even when He's silent" I thought my heart would explode!
When we're fighting for eternal victories we mustn't be defeated by temporary struggles. This book is a lesson on that very thing.