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At one point Redeeming Love was absolutely my favorite book. I don’t even know how often I’ve read it, maybe five times. And probably I’ll continue to reread it, because it’s food for my soul.
One of the reason’s why I’m so partial to this story is because it’s set in California circa 1850. As a teenager I spent some of my summers in the bay area of California when my brother lived there, and it’s kept a piece of my heart ever since. Not to mention this is just a fascinating time period with the gold rush and early settlement of San Francisco and Sacramento.
Francine Rivers writes a riveting novel based on the book of Hosea in the bible. Angel is a young woman who was sold into prostitution when she was just a little girl. Every time she tries to escape, things go badly and she’s forced right back into her old way of life. When Michael Hosea finds her she is dying inside. But she’s resigned, believing that life will never be different for her.
In this book, Angel represents the nation of Israel (as well as pretty much every single human) and Michael represents God’s perusing love. I almost wish, though, that the author hadn’t used the same story and names to retell the biblical one. It seems a bit cheesy to me. Basically it’s the exact same thing but set in a different time and place. Why not just actually retell the original, then? What makes it weirder is that the characters are even aware of the original Hosea in the Bible and his prostitute wife who keeps running away, they even talk about it. At least the name should have been changed in my opinion. Some things just irk me. But Anyhoo…
The only other part I have anything negative to say about is the ending. Francine rivers likes to write very dramatic endings. Minor Spoiler. Angel can’t just simply return to her husband, she has to come home naked. End Spoiler. Sometimes simple is better. Not everything needs to be over the top all the time. But it’s not my book. And I’d never be able to write it as well as Francine Rivers, anyway.
It’s still a fascinating read, and I will never not recommend it. A solid 4/5. For the record – My copy of the book comes with a note from the publisher which states that if this book were a movie, it’d be rated PG13, so keep that in mind.
From what I’ve experienced, most people either love or hate this book. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, we wanna know all about it!