Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as He loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Dont weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. Thats the way back into Eden. Thats the way back to life.
I know, I know, everyone has read this book and I am well behind the times. Redeeming Love was one of those books that moved me, deeply. You know the type, when going through your day and you can only think about the next time you'll be able to pick it up and continue the story; the one you race to finish, but immediately want it to continue long after finishing, that was this book for me.
For those who haven't read this book yet, let me give you a brief synopsis. The story was adapted from the Bible story of Hosea and the prostitute, Gomer, whom God told Hosea to marry (Hosea 1:2-3).
In Redeeming Love, the two main characters are Michael Hosea and Angel. The plot, set in 1850 California, essentially has many different levels and conflicts: Angel's hate/love for herself, Angel's hate of men, Michael's love for Angel, Michael's love for God, God's love for Angel and Michael, Angel's love and yearning for freedom, Angel's love for Michael, and eventually Angel's love for God. These struggles in varying degrees are woven seamlessly together.
I will forewarn, prepare, whatever you want to call it, that the first chapter was really tough for me to read, almost to the point that I wanted to put the book down and never pick it up again, and if you decide to read it you will certainly understand exactly what I'm talking about. However, I decided to scan forward to see how much longer I'd have to endure the rest of the chapter and was relieved to see it didn't last much longer. Upon completing the book, I realized the beginning, however uncomfortable it made me, was crucial to the tone of the rest of the story in its entirety and helps the reader to understand why the main character, Angel, thinks and feels the way she does. Some instances I would gauge as "PG-13" according to today's ratings, however if it were my personal standards I would say "R", definitely adult considering prostitution is intertwined within the entirety of the story.
The message behind the narrative is what really hit home for me, which is God's constant pursuit of our attention and love, while we put him off or turn a deaf ear. "Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as He loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back to life" (Redeeming Love).
Overall, this was a fairly long book but was such a fast read because it truly piqued my interest on an emotional, spiritual, and mental level. It impacted me.
My sister read Redeeming Love while in High School. She raved about it and offered it to me. I looked at the cover and at how thick the volume was and decided that I didn't have time. About 5 years later, I visited her and her husband at their home in Florida. My sister had the guest room set up beautifully for our stay and laying in a chair in our room was a copy of Redeeming Love that she had purchased for me. Older, wiser, and with a bit more time on my hands, I immediately began the novel and finished it on our 12 hour ride home. Redeeming Love is a timeless story that has truly stolen my heart and will forever be a favorite of mine.
Michael Hosea and Angel have a relationship that is clearly destined for failure. Angel's life has been way too tragic for her to be able to function in a healthy marriage. Michael is too naive to be a good, realistic husband. But God is faithful and He is able to perform miracles if we will only accept His love and forgiveness and step out in obedience to Him. Sometimes, it's the darkness and evil of this world that make it truly clear how good and how real our God is. This book is simply amazing.
i love this book. It was recommended by my daughter in high school but i kept pushing it aside because the front cover did not interest me. Now its one of my favorite books. I think everyone can relate to it on some level. We must remember we are all worthy and that God's love is for everyone.
I have since read many of Francine Rivers books. They are excellent. I have learned so much history of the bible thru her words. It really helps explain the traditions and customs of those biblical days. And she also has more modern day books and characters. She is truly a gifted writer. If you read one of her books you will definitely want to read all of her books!!!
I started reading this book at 7pm, went out to dinner, supported a friend at 1 in the morning, and finally finished the book at 9am the next morning. Best book (other than the Bible) I've ever read. I'll never read another fiction as good.