By Francine Rivers
Multnomah Women's Fiction,1999
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a compelling retelling of the biblical book of Hosea. Set in America in the 1850’s, Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child has lived a life of only mistrust and fear. Michael Hosea is a God-fearing man who seeks to do God’s will. He is told by God to marry Angel, which he does, despite his misgivings and society’s condemnation. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance, she 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 can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the Him who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does, the One who will never let her go.
On the surface, this story is a wonderfully written romance, powerful and heartbreaking. But shining through is the truth, this story is an allegory of God’s love for us and how His love redeems us, no matter how sinful we are.
Redeeming Love is a book that Christians should read to understand the grace and love extended to us by God, and His unrelenting pursuit of us.
However, Redeeming Love is not a book for young teens for two reasons:
The subplots deal with incest, rape and the pain caused by prostitution, but these are dealt with sensitively and never without being necessary to further the plot.
And the book also deals with sex within marriage, not in a voyeuristic way, but to show how God’s view of love and sex is different to how the world views them.
Redeeming Love will take you on a journey with remarkable characters to discover, love, and worship God. It is a long journey, filled with obstacles of rejection, hatred and terrible sin. But finally, and most importantly, coming to Christ. Rivers makes this novel so realistic that it becomes a journey you will never forget.