I just noticed, while preparing to write this sort-of-review, that the last three books I’ve read, including this one, were all by my favorite authors – The Oath by Frank Peretti and The Good Guy by Dean Koontz. Isn’t that cool? J Francine Rivers is another author-love when it comes to Christian fiction, and I so terribly love the Mark of the Lion Trilogy, I want to name my daughter Hadassah someday. Haha. I am partial to Christian literature, so if I were to rank these three favorite authors, the top spot will be a toss up between Peretti and Rivers. If Peretti is king when it comes to Christian thrillers, Rivers, on the other hand, writes very compelling, deeply emotional, and wholesome, sanitized love stories.
Redeeming Love is one such emotional love story. It is a retelling of the story of the prophet Hosea in the Bible who was called by God to marry Gomer, a prostitute. Based on that premise, can you just imagine how deeply emotional this book can be? Michael Hosea, a lowly, God-fearing farmer, heard God’s command for him to marry Angel, the most expensive prostitute of Pair-o-Dice. Set in California during the gold rush, the book poignantly portrays the journey of Angel and Michael and their search for the true meaning of love.
But more than just a simple love story where man falls in love with a woman and they live happily ever after, Redeeming Love is a story of, well, love. Love in its purest, unadulterated form. Love that is patient, forgiving, and selfless. Love that only God can give. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have cried over this book. The first few pages are enough to break my heart and even though I knew right from the beginning that the story will definitely have a happy ending, that did not deter me from reading the book from start to finish.
Angel’s journey towards finding true love and towards God is very well-described. I love it that Michael is not portrayed as totally perfect and holy – his struggles are very real, making his character more believable. The minor characters also played their parts well, including the villains. Most importantly, I love the ending – not hasty or contrived – just perfect.
Reading this book reminded me of my own brokenness and how I often failed to live up to God’s expectations. Indeed, it is only His love that can make me whole – not my family, my friends, definitely not my husband who has vowed to love me with all his heart. Before I get too emotional (again), I would love (can you count how many times I’ve said “love” in this review?) to share this song by Hillsong United that best describes this wonderful book:
ALL FOR LOVE
All for love the Father gave
For only love could make a way
All for love the heavens cried
For love was crucified
Oh how many times have I broken Your heart
But still You forgive
If only I ask
And how many times have You heard me pray
Draw near to me
Everything I need is You
My beginning, my forever
Everything I need is You
Let me sing all for love
I will join the angels song
Ever holy is the Lord
King of Glory
King of all
All for a love a Saviour prayed
Abba Father have Your way
Though they know not what they do
Let the Cross draw man to You
Redeeming Love is one of my best reads so far for this year and I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a love story with sense.
20/50 2012 Goodreads Reading Goal.