It is the 1850 in California, and the gold rush is well underway. Men are in overabundance, and the few women that reside there live in brothels and pleasure palaces. Angel is one such woman, though not by choice. Sold to a man in a brothel as a child, she barely remembers the happier days before her mother died. She is haunted by memories of her father, her broken-hearted mother, her cruel grandparents and life in the enchanting little cottage before everything went wrong.
The only thing that keeps her alive is her hatred. Hatred towards the man who bought her, hatred towards the men she is forced to take care of, and hatred towards God Himself for giving her life and then keeping her alive. Even after she is free of her original master, she ends up in Pair-A-Dice working in another brothel because she knows no other way to live.
Then Michael Hosea rides into town. Intrigued by the cold, hard, icy demeanor of a woman so young and beautiful, he is compelled by Someone greater than himself to seek her out and marry her. It is a mission that he himself is scarcely prepared to carry out. Despite Michael's tender love for the prostitute he only knows as "Angel" and his patience in waiting for her to be ready to receive his love as it was meant to be - she continually runs away from him. Again and again she leaves Michael behind. At first, she leaves him because she doesn't want to belong to another man. Then she leaves him because she loves him. Will Michael ever be able to demonstrate God's love to a woman who refuses to see the truth and be helped? And will Angel ever willingly receive love from the Father who will never let her down?
I read this book ten years ago, and it is just the kind of book you want to read over and over again. No matter what point you are in your life, this book is such a wonderful reminder that God's love for us never changes, expires, or wavers. Angel is the lowest of the low, yet God raises her up to be the woman He intended her to be. Obviously, one has questions as to how God allows horrible things to happen to people. But God has a plan in everything, and no matter what happens in our lives, God is there, He is watching, and He is in control. Rivers has written a book that is for everybody, regardless of age, race, denomination, or sex. It will open your eyes to God's love and will remind you that no matter what, God is always present.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
This book completely surpassed all my expectations. I had heard good things about it, and i thought the premise of it being a retelling of the story of Hosea in the old West sounded intriguing. As I began this book, I was so drawn into the story line that I often found I did not want to put it down.
Angel and Michael Hosea's characters were so skillfully written, and nothing about the story seemed contrived. I found myself near tears so many times. After all, I could relate to Michael's dilemma since I am currently in love with a non-Christian who is so embittered about the things of the Lord. I am always pleased when a Christian author is able to master the technique of weaving Christian principles into a story. And this author does.
As much as I loved the story, I think the author's note at the end of the story truly impressed me as well. It was something to see a Christian author tell her testimony and explain how her salvation experience was somewhat akin to the experience of Angel. I also appreciated the frank way the author dealt with the physical relationship between Angel and Michael. So many Christian authors do not deal with this topic openly, but Francine Rivers is not one of them!
Finally, I think the story of Angel's childhood prostitution and ensuing young life truly broke my heart. I am sure that there were girls just like her who did exist in the history of our race. Sometimes it was hard to read the details, but it only added to the connection I felt with the characters.
Redeeming Love is a beautiful retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer set in the 1850's California's gold towns.
At the tender age of eight, Angel was sold into prostitution, and for the next ten years hurt, betrayal, and men's greediness accompany her day to day and night by night life. When yet another man comes to visit her room, Angel is most surprised to hear him say that God told him to marry her. With each passing day Michael demonstrates God's love to Angel in a way she has never experienced defying her personal knowledge and experience of love. Her callused and frozen heart begins to heal , but with it comes the stark reality her past is just too great to for a new start. She runs from her husbands pursuing love, because the Lord's unconditional, redemptive, and all-consuming love is even scarier to her.
Angel's character was impeccably written, she experienced many unexplainable hurts that defined her and made her the sort of woman she is. Not once did she step put of her character and pretend to be something she isn't, many a time her choices were so true to her nature they were hurting to herself and others. Michael's constant hurts were hard for the reader, but his strength and faith in the Lord was inspiring and admirable.
The overall message of God's love was imparted with such wisdom and grace that both the non believer and christian could both glean different lessons from the same book. Francine Rivers created a literary masterpiece that draws you closer to God and leaves much thought for food.
I received this book for free, form Blogging for Books, in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
*Because the subject included child molestation, rape, and prostitution I recommend this book for mature readers (high-school and up).
Plot: This book is loosely based on the Bible story of Hosea. It shows one mans undying love for his wife, and mirrors the unabated love of God for His children.
Characters: From the very first words, until the very last, you follow Angel on a journey to find herself, God, and what it truly means to love and be loved. You see into her soul and you feel her pain and her joy. You see her character evolve into what she never thought she would ever be able to become
Themes: There are two equally important themes in this book; love and forgiveness. Throughout the book, Angel had to learn both. She had to learn how to love and be loved by both her husband and God. She also had to learn to accept the forgiveness offered to her by both.
Emotion: From page one, this book drips with emotion. You feel every emotion that Angel feels. You can feel the emotion of Michael as well. From his desire for his wife, to the pain he feels when she leaves. Every last emotion jumps off the pages and lands right into the heart of the reader.
Overall: This book leaves you enraptured from the very beginning. You are left sucked in to Angel's life as a child and the tragedy that sends her on a downward spiral. It's a hard book to put to down. You're left thinking about the story even when you're not reading it. And you can even begin to see traces of it in your own life
I requested Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers to review because so many different people have recommended it to me over the years. I thought it was time I checked it out to see what it was all about.
If you haven't read it, Redeeming Love is a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer in the Bible - Hosea was a prophet, and God told him to take a prost.itute as his wife. This story is about Michael Hosea, a farmer in California in the mid-1800's. God tells him to take Angel, a prost.tute, for his wife. The story is about Michael loving Angel and repeatedly taking her back, even when she leaves him. Eventually he breaks through her hard shell, but she is still not complete. The rest of the book is about God's pursuit of her, until she finally turns to Him.
The plot of this book probably wouldn't make much sense to the outside world. Why would God ask an upright man to marry a prost.itute? But we all have sinned and turned away from God. We all have chosen our own way over His way. We turn back to our own way over and over. But God is always there, loving us, bringing us back, waiting for us to return so He can wash us clean. I thought Rivers did a nice job of representing that in the book.
I will say that the subject matter of this book is obviously geared toward adults. We see Angel's story from the very beginning, and some very disturbing things happen to her and are done by her later on. The physical aspect of Michael and Angel's relationship is also a part of this book. Rivers is good about never being explicit, but the events are implied even when not described. I would definitely not recommend this to younger girls. It's more appropriate for older women or women who are married.
Would I recommend this book? I think so, but with caution. I'm always a little leary of fiction books that focus this much on s.ex, because of the whole emotional aspect - women aren't affected so much visually as emotionally, so I think as Christian women it is good to guard our minds and proceed with caution when it comes to some romance novels. However, I think River's heart is in the right place, and she handles everything in the book with tact. Beyond that, the underlying message is powerful and points the reader back to Jesus. I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, but it was a good book.
Note: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multonomah in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.