Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers on Amazon
Note/Spoiler-Alert: I promise to not give away any details in this review of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
My husband and I are similar in a lot – and I mean a LOT – of ways, but when it comes to reading, we couldn’t be more unalike. As a child my parents punishment of choice was grounding me from reading – usually it was the reading that got me into trouble in the first place – while Roger has read less than a handful of books by choice. So while I can always be easily entertained by pretty much any book my husband needs a little – or a lot – of convincing.
This knowledge of my husband’s reading habits made me a little leery about reading Redeeming Love to my husband. My sister-in-law gave me Redeeming Love as a gift and my first thought was that it was a romance novel with a little bit of faith thrown in to hook Christian women. I was definitely judging this book by its cover!
I started reading Redeeming Love by myself not long after receiving it, but I became distracted or depressed – more on this later – and put it down. Two months ago, my husband and I were looking for something new to read and somehow we chose this book – I was probably worried my sister might ask how I liked the book… So we started reading a couple of pages each night together and ended up devouring the book in less than two months.
The first hundred pages are a bit depressing, every time you think that it can’t get any worse for the main character “Angel” it does – way worse. Now my husband enjoys a good damsel in distress situation – what guy doesn’t – but it got to the point that my husband was getting very aggravated and I was worried he was going to give up on the book. Luckily, Redeeming Love took a turn before my husband could consider hiding the book from me.
Francine Rivers portrays the unconditional love of God through the retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. Rivers sets the scene during California’s gold rush following the life of Angel – who was forced into prostitution as a child – and how she struggled to accept an unconditional and everlasting love that would forever change her life.
Even though this book was written to portray the 1850s, it is surprisingly relatable to our relationship with God. Time and time again, Angel refused to accept all that her husband wanted to give her and what she knew would make her happy. Still she would return to her old ways – sometimes an all too familiar routine. Often you would believe she (we) deserved to be punished for our continual returning to what we know is wrong, while all along God continues to draw us back. Even so, her husband continually fought for her – in actions and prayer – just as Christ never gives up on us.
I was completely wrong to have thought that this book was written to romance Christian women with just the slightest hint of Christianity to make them feel better about their choice of books. This book was seriously saturated with Christian lessons and biblical references that gave my husband and I a lot to think about and discuss. I am so glad that my sister gave me this book and I really wish we had read this book during our first year of marriage.
Redeeming Love was filled with twists and turns that kept you coming back for more – and I must admit that I skipped to the end and did a little skimming.