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Redeeming Love Paperback – May 9, 2005
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In this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God's unconditional love for his people. Redeeming Love opens with the Gold Rush of 1850 and its rough-and-tumble atmosphere of greed and desire. Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, has learned to distrust all men, who see her only as a way to satisfy their lust. When the virtuous and spiritual-minded Michael Hosea is told by God to marry this "soiled dove," he obeys, despite his misgivings. As Angel learns to love him, she begins to hope again but is soon overwhelmed by fear and returns to her old life. Rivers shines in her ability to weave together spiritual themes and sexual tension in a well-told story, a talent that has propelled her into the spotlight as one of the most popular novelists in the genre of Christian fiction. This is one of her best. --Cindy Crosby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Rivers has rewritten a secular historical romance of the same name (Bantam, 1991) for the Christian market, and it is a splendid piece of work exploring both physical love and a love of God. Angel, a young, hardened prostitute sold into "the life" as a child, has no interest in God or religion. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a devout Christian who tells her it is his mission to save her. After being badly beaten, Angel decides to take Michael up on his offer of marriage. Eventually, she learns not only to love Michael but to love God as well. There is not one false note in this wonderful novel. The publisher's foreword rates the book "PG" for its adult themes and subplots of rape and incest. However, these are handled with great sensitivity and are very much a part of the story's development. Very highly recommended for most libraries.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This is not for the faint of heart. The story revolves around a young girl accidentally sold into prostitution and the trials she goes through to find love with the man who becomes her husband and God. There are implied scenes that will make you cringe and some graphic scenes that made my stomach pitch and roll. This is a relatively long story, 497 pages, so be prepared for the roller coaster of emotions. I'm not one for biblical books but the biblical portion here is not overwhelming at all. It's actually written so well, you'll find yourself wrapped up in the story instead.
I highly recommend this as I have never been so moved by a book in my life. More than once I found myself screaming at the book, crying to myself and praying for a happy ending. Just make sure you set aside time to read where you won't be interrupted and bring tissues!!
The [long] beginning is very challenging to get through (rough, tragic, disturbing) but I'm glad I stuck with it because I found myself---in the beginning the middle and end---weeping for the characters in the book and also weeping (in a good healing way) with how it made me look at my own marriage.
The main characters are Michael, Angel, and God (though his subtle but main storyline is not introduced until Michael's is) . Based on reviews, a handful of readers missed the opportunity to see that Michael does not have to represent all men, and Angel all women. Some reviewers resented Angel being cast in such a horribly "submissive" position throughout. But first, these readers should remember this story takes place during the time of the goldrush when women were not treated equal and were in submissive positions...but second, readers should note that is not how God saw her. The storyline is not at all about women's rights but instead about God's love. The big point is that God will communicate to those [lucky people who listen for him] that He wants them----those who are still safely in the confines of his herd--- to stop at nothing to bring those who are not (those who are the lost sheep), back to him.
Ironically, as it turned out, I identified more with Michael and his story...even though I am a woman. If you take this story only as a romance (as it is written), and don't realize that God's talking to / trying to reach these characters is a bigger storyline, then you miss the powerful message of this book.....that God's love is limitless and powerful...and unrelenting. He will never abandon you even when it may seem that way with certain trials you may endure. Redeeming Love conveyed just that, yet while gripping my attention the way any well-written captivating story would.
The main character is a young woman who was the illegitimate child of a father who wanted her aborted. Her mother's obsession with her married lover robs her daughter of the early nurturing and security she needs to develop emotionally. At eight years of age, the little girl is abandoned to a pedophile who trains her to be a prostitute in a mining town in the mid 1800's.
A young farmer falls in love with her at first sight and pledges to win her love and make her his wife. The greatest weakness of the novel is this unexplained "love" that drives the farmer to pursue her and forgive her betrayals. The reader has to suspend disbelief and just accept that some noble, God-directed agenda is at work here. Once the reader accepts that premise, the book improves immensely. The characters have complicated relationships with each other all involving the difference between love of self, others, and God and the role of forgiveness in maintaining each loving relationship.
The epilogue is a bit "preachy" and unnecessary. The book is worth the read if you can suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the perceptive characterizations that follow.