I love it when I find a great book because I simply want to tell everyone about it and hope that they strongly take my suggestion and pick it up. Some of these stories once you immerse yourself in them become a part of your body and soul. They live with you long after you read them because you find yourself thinking about the theme in so many different aspects of your day. When Francine Rivers got the notion for the storyline for her novel Redeeming Love it came directly out of the book Hosea in the Bible. It shows the way God loves us in such a profound and simply unconditional love that it is simply breath-taking and life changing. This novel and it's storyline will move you to tears and show you just how much God's love can change your life.
The storyline is very reminiscent of Les Misrables, in which a young girl name Sarah spends her life witnessing not only through words but in actions that she is worthless and unwanted. The only people who see her as anything as those who will exploit her beauty and cause her to build such walls that nothing, even the love of God will not be able to penetrate them. First learning that she was a product of an illicit affair her mother had with a wealthy married man, she over hears a conversation that he had wished she had never been born, that she was a mistake and one that he can never accept in his life. Yet Sarah's mother does all she can to protect and care for her child, but soon, life takes a terrible toll on her and she dies, leaving Sarah behind with a man she knows only as Uncle Rab.
Rab is simply a drunken man who loved her mother in between his lucid moments and now finds that taking care of Sarah is simply too much for anyone to handle. When he learns a wealthy man is looking for a daughter to adopt, he thinks he has found his way out. He sells nine-year-old Sarah to him, a man only known as Duke who will ultimately teach Sarah that he will be the only life she will ever know. He tells her that her name is now Angel.
Michael Hosea is a God-fearing man who believes God will show him who his future wife will be, but he never dreamed that would lead him to Pair-of-Dice, a brothel and find a soiled dove in desperate need of God's love. Michael simply can not believe that this is whom God would bestow His promises to find a wife in being the highest paid prostitute in town, one that only the highest bidder can see, but God offers him the opportunity to convince her that despite what she has been lead to believe her whole life, Michael is the real deal. Now if only those mile high walls she has constructed to protect herself against men can be brought down, Michael might just have a chance, but to Angel the only hope for a different life is if she dies and that is just what she has planned when Michael finds her.
I received Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions in this review are strictly my own. Once I received this to review, I didn't realize that this book had been written more than twenty years ago and the message contained in the pages is more relevant now to women who need to understand forgiveness, unconditional love and redemption in Christ. I literally read this in one sitting and could not put it down. I was beyond captivated by the eloquent words that Francine Rivers used to retell the biblical story of Hosea in this novel. I found myself in tears so many times, by the demonstration of Michael's love and commitment to Angel despite how many times she tries to push him away. It's like one reviewer shared, "Michael Hosea is the consummate hero; Angel, in one way or another, is every woman who has ever lived without love." You can not read this one and not be changed forever. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars and will now hold a prominent place in my personal library. I KNOW I will read this one again and again.
Francine Rivers is a prolific and powerful writer. I have read several of her books, but none touched me like the story held between the covers of Redeeming Love.
Not only is Redeeming Love based on one of the most powerful stories in the Bible, the marriage of Hosea to Gomer, a prostitute, but Rivers has developed characters rich in courage, strength and humanity. The dialogue and scenes are lush with the history of the California gold rush and the families who followed their men into this strange and often unforgiving desire to strike it rich.
Central to the story is a five-year old girl, Sarah, later called Angel, sold into child prostitution and used body and soul for the needs of ugly and brutal men. It isn't surprising that she grows hard and bitter. And it isn't surprising that she doesn't understand the meaning of the word "love."
Enter Michael Hosea. A man of God. A man who realizes that God has called him to marry Angel, but the battle is in convincing Angel. The stumbling blocks she presents to God's plan in Michael's life are treacherous and often mean-spirited, but his patience never seems to wear thin.
Others work against Michael's attempt to finish the work God has placed in his hands, and still others can see the peaks and valleys Michael and Angel walk through are making a difference for both.
I'll stop here because I want you to enjoy Redeeming Love as much as I did. A lengthy book at 461 pages, the story will grasp your heart and you will read until you know the outcome.
Congratulations to Francine Rivers on writing a spectacular book!
Redeeming Love is for fans of Christian fiction and romance. Although rich in its story line based as it is on Hosea's story, there are scenes which might be unsuitable for young teenage girls. I would suggest a parent reading it first.
Note: I received a free copy from WaterbrookMultnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Slightly based on the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love helped me understand God work at hand and how even when we don't see him in our path, he is always there guiding us. I have always been a fan of Francine Rivers, but I absolutely loved this novel. It was heartbreaking, joyful and encouraging all in one. We are first introduced to a young girl named Sarah, who is desperate to have her father acknowledge and love her. Later we see her grow and her mother selling herself in order to feed and care for young Sarah. After her mother passes, a young Sarah is sold to a man who uses her for years. Destroying her innocence and childhood. Just like Gomer in the bible, Sarah results to selling herself and using her body to manipulate and use men. She is the most beautiful woman in the area_men literally wait all day for 30 min with her. She should feel powerful, beautiful, wanted_but no matter what she is feeling more and more alone and broken each day. Going by the name Angel, she becomes completely harden to men, love and God. No one in her life has ever shown her the true meaning of God's love. Even as a young girl, a priest kicked her and her mother out of a church when they were desperate for help. One day when she was out for a walk, a man named Michael Hosea sees her. He is a good, Godly man. Pure and clean, waiting and praying for his wife to come. The moment he sees Angel, he knows God is telling him to marry her. Of course she thinks he's just falling for her body and refuses to become attached to him. She tries constantly to seduce him, but with a lot of prayer, he turns her down. Knowing he is there to show her God's love, not use her like all the men before.
So just like in the story Hosea in the bible, Michael marries Angel. She fights, refuses to love him, and yes, even runs to another man. No matter what he tells her, she only sees herself as an object and never capable of love. But just when Michael feels like he completely lost her, Christ opens her heart and she allows him to change her.
This was an amazing story and perfect for anyone who wants to get lost in a book. You will be touched by Michael's forgiving love, and heartbroken for the pain Sarah carries with her daily.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers takes place in California's gold country in the 1850s. It is about a woman, Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child and spent her entire life full despondency because of her hatred for the men who used her. Michael Hosea, a godly farmer, felt God directed him to marry Angel, much to the disapproval of everyone around him, including Angel.
This story is definitely a love story, the hard working love of a man for a woman, and the love of Michael's God that eventually wins over the heart of Angel through the kindness and love of those around her. As Angel eases into a new life of being a farmer's wife, she questions her ability to love and be loved. Though many times her doubts take her over, Michael maintains his trust in his God - that He will bring them together as a man and wife who love and trust one another. This story compels the reader to evaluate their own attitudes and actions toward those caught in a life of pain and sin that bears the responsibility. It is certainly a good example to a believer of how God can change a heart and cause a life to become brand new through the love and acceptance by His faithful few. This book reminds me of the saying, "But for the grace of God, there go I."
This story mirrors the Hosea/Gomer story in the Bible where God directs a man to marry a prostitute in order for Him to show His redeeming love for His beloved people. Rivers does a great job of drawing the reader into the story and showing how insecurities and doubts that can prevent a person from giving and receiving love. I read this story years ago and it remains one of my favorites today. I highly recommend this book, especially to romantics who love a good ending.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.