It is Sunday morning and it feels strange. On a normal day Enid and I would be gathering our children for our Sunday morning 11 O’clock service. But today is a different day altogether. I woke up in Pune India. I called home to tell Enid that I arrived well, spoke to my oldest daughter Amanda and felt grateful that God’s mercies have been new again this morning. On this flight, I took along a book that I have fallen in love with so much. It is a book written by Francine Rivers and the title is Redeeming Love.
In this foreign land, my alter this morning has been a review of this book. This writer has become one of my favorite Christian authors not because I read all her books (I don’t), but because she wrote one of the best books I have ever read in my life (this is includes non-Christian books). And I’ve read plenty.
Redeeming Love: An Overview and book synopsis
The story is written from the perspective of California’s gold country in 1850. This was a time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.
Angel (one of the main characters) expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance; her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go.
A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love. This book is the story of a prostitute, Angel. The Bible commands men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. But would you go this far to love your wife. Men, search your hearts and see if you truly can love as Christ did. He gave us an example.
The prostitute Angel has really lived a hard life. Your heart will break for her as you read this book. And just when you think you know about all the awful things that have happened to her, Francine the author hits you with more awful things from the poor girl’s past. I mean, just how much does one woman have to suffer? The hero in the book is called Michael Hosea. A man that challenges us men, to love as Christ loved the church. Wow! He’s a Christian and he wants to marry Angel and he really does marry her. Michael Hosea is really a cool man. I have learnt a lot from him. He is good for Angel, but she doesn’t know it. I stand for the freedom of choice, but when I first read this book, I thought to myself, this man should just give Angel a break. There is no way you can force someone to marry you. But wait a moment; the best was yet to come.
Key issues from this book
This book is the story of Christ and the church. Angel represents the church and Michael represents Christ. I am aware that there have been some negative reviews about this book by others especially when it comes to some scenes where Angel was naked in some scenes. Well, it depends on some levels of tolerance. Angel was not just naked for the sake of it. And there was nothing explicit at all. I think she just removed her clothes to show how a Christian should approach God, i.e. we need to be completely open and bare before God just as Adam and Even were naked before God and felt no shame.
This book is also different from the average Christian books. A number of Christian authors tread a little too softly around certain issues, but Francine Rivers just goes for it. The book is realistic about the life of a prostitute and the life of a husband and wife.
The book is based on a true story of the book of Hosea. After reading Redeeming Love I had to go back and re-read the book of Hosea and I can confess that it is really a powerful book that will make you want to be more faithful to God despite the challenges you encounter in your marriages.
You notice how the use of names was really artistic. Some lessons for men here. How lovely how Michael called Angel different names in different situations. It was beautiful.
Above all else, the ending was very moving, at least for me. It is one of the most life changing books I have read. Reading about Angel’s journey to spiritual freedom and liberty was so inspiring for me. I hope it will be for you too.
Redeeming Love just appealed to me on so many different levels. It’s a touching romance between two extremely unlikely partners; it’s historical fiction, depicting the vibrant world of the Old West; it’s a thought-provoking Christian text, dealing with how God can change anyone’s life at any time; it’s a suspenseful and fast-paced story of human relationships; and Rivers’ writing is lovely to read.