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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
Can God’s Love Save Anyone?
Best-selling author Francine Rivers skillfully retells the biblical love story of Gomer and Hosea in a tale set against the exciting backdrop of the California Gold Rush. The heroine, Angel, is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child. Michael Hosea is a godly man sent into Angel’s life to draw her into the Savior’s redeeming love. This remarkable novel has sold over a million copies globally and has been a fixture on the CBA bestsellers list for nearly a decade. A six-part reading guide, suitable for individual use or group discussion, is included in this best-selling novel.
Story Behind the Book
“Writing Redeeming Love was a form of worship for me. Through it, I was able to thank God for loving me even when I was defiant, rebellious, contemptuous of what I thought being a Christian meant, and afraid to give my heart away. I had wanted to be my own god and have control of my life the way Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Now I know to be loved by Christ is the ultimate joy and fulfillment. Everything in Redeeming Love was a gift from the Lord: plot, characters, theme. None of it is mine to claim.”
- A wonderful parallel
I couldn't put this book down. I highly recommend it, especially for teenage girls who need to take a closer look at their relationship with God....more info
- A change of heart
The book "Redeeming Love" is a very captivating and suspensful book. It brings the power of Gods unchanging and perfect love for his people in a way that one can understand much better. The book can bring a life changing experience to each one that reads it, if they open their heart to Gods Redeeming Love....more info
- Good book
This book had me at the prologue. If your heart isn't squeezing by the end of that then you're probably missing a sensitivity chip. Being that I'm also a sucker for romance and there are parts in this books that have me smiling and awwing like an extreme girly girl. But around page 290, my patience with Sarah was being tested and then tested again. By the last act, I was over it. Truly. There was just one too many 'running away' episodes. Is it true to life, yes, but in a 465 page book it borders on being annoying.
Plus, there's a vast amount of unbelievable fantasy applied to this book. Realistically, both Michael AND Miriam are stalkers or at the very least have stalker-ish mentalities. Let's face it, yeah it was a good thing for Michael to save Angel after her cruel beating, but he didn't have to marry her while she was not in her right state of mind. That was sort of taking advantage of a situation. True he was patient and kind and a whole lot of wonderful adjectives, but let's face it, you can't force someone to fall in love with you. But she did and it all worked out-but the whole marrying her the way he did bothers me a bit.
Then the whole Paul thing. There's forgiving someone and then there's taking forgiveness to a whole new level. I know no man who would still treat his brother in law the way he did after taking advantage of his wife the way he did. He could have forgiven him, but you don't keep bringing him for dinner and forcing your wife to have conversations with the man. It borders on being cruel.
Then there's Miriam and her, hey, I'm the only woman around so why don't you marry me mentality that was disturbing. It came across to me like he lusted after the girl not that he was in love with her. We all know that's two different things. How could he be in love with someone he never had a full conversation with? What did they have in common? Nothing. Love is this book equaled a man finding you attractive. (That also could be applied to Michael. When it all boils down, he didn't know Angel at all.) Can you imagine waking up and someone moving into your house because they think they know what's best for you? Again, in this fantasy book it all works out, but this is the tale of two stalkers.
Yet, the talent of Mrs. Rivers is that she does manage to get you try to turn off your reality switch...at least for a while and try to over simplify major problems. For that I say Bravo.
- Concerned Reader
I first read Redeeming Love when I was 16--part of Bible class in a Christian high school--and at the time enjoyed the erotic moments between Angel and Michael. (What teenager wouldn't?) At that time I also appreciated the marriage metaphor as a way for me to envision my relationship with God. This was before I ever read the book of Hosea for myself.
It made me interested in the biblical text. I thought there was some fantastic love story I missed. I was alarmed by what I found there. Women as voiceless property and tools used by men (and God) disturbed me as they are portrayed in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Francine Rivers glosses over threats of domestic violence against Gomer (who would be Angel in her story) and omits completely Hosea's abuse of the children (whether they are his or not is uncertain--in Hosea 1 where Gomer gives birth to the children there is no evidence of her 'whoring'). Of course, we should remember Hosea is told only from the perspective of a jealous husband. Francine Rivers attempts with artistic license to retell this story from the other perspective (which we know nothing about).
For her non-literal approach, I was surprised at the end when Angel strips off her clothes (as Gomer was commanded to do by Hosea, but refuses) when returning to Michael. I disliked the ending for that reason because after all Angel goes through it puts everything on her. I also disliked the shifting names Michael has for Angel. It felt manipulative toward Angel--commanding her to be the type of woman Michael meant by that name. And I felt Michael was only ideal in fidelity to Angel, but she had certain assets and Michael had few other options. His character wholly fails to grasp what sort of pain Angel has experienced because he is so intent on making her love him. The biggest disservice Francine Rivers does to Gomer/Angel's character is not letting the reader feel the emotional complexity of only knowing abusive relationships with men. I gave Redeeming Love to someone else and went on my merry way.
Several years later as a theology student, I have re-read this novel to give an opinion on it as a modern hermeneutic of Hosea. I was shocked that I had read this in high school, but I was fairly naive missing the depth of the cruelty Angel has to experience. Angel only wanted freedom from being used. Freedom to be independent. The only women who are independent in the story are prostitutes and women who run brothels (presumably whores who worked they way up to that position). The lone exception is the daughter of the banker who helps Angel start a non-profit helping prostitutes take power over their lives and learn life skills beyond turning tricks, but the banker's daughter still has to associate with the socially unacceptable (in 'good' society) to be independent. Ironically, Angel who wanted that freedom never gets it. She is still confined to her marriage and is only fully restored when she fulfills her role as a dutiful wife. Yes, at the end of the book she feels love (or gratitude?) for Michael, but as noted above she strips her clothes (after her conversion experience!) symbolically (as inspired from the Hosea text) reinforcing if she had only removed them before she wouldn't have had to suffer...her suffering is her fault. I think Francine Rivers could have spared Angel the horrible childhood and better illustrated a woman resentful of marrying a man and wanting to return to her chosen profession (if you really believe prostitution is a preferred choice for women) being responsible for her own actions rather than an emotionally, physically abused woman who is supposed to forget everything in her past and enter a (forced) loving relationship with a man.
Besides my issues with the story, I think Francine Rivers captured the essence of Hosea in her Christian interpretation. The prophetic texts are meant to insult and evoke emotional responses. I worry those who wholly love the story as a romantic tale are missing the deeper parts of the story. I gave Francine Rivers for retelling the story of Hosea and Gomer in a way modern readers can relate to, but I only gave her two stars because I think she could have done more justice to Angel and Michael. If you think Redeeming Love is offensive because of the sexual content and 'dark subject matter' I encourage you to take a second look at the Old Testament.
Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy is very good and if you disliked this book, I encourage you to read those. ...more info
- Loved this book!
I thought this book was fantastic. It was rough sometimes but so is life. I would get mad at Michael for taking her back over and over again. until I put myself in that position and thought about how often God forgives me and takes me back over and over again. I got mad at Angel for leaving him and kept thinking why are you leaving someone who loves you so unconditionally, until I thought about myself and how many times I have gone off and done what I want to do. This book just made me think about my life and my relationship with God. It was truly life changing for me....more info
- Not horrible but not the best book I have read...
This is the 1st Christian book I have read (even though I am a Christian). I liked the begining and the end but the middle of the book was SOOO slow. I was going to quite reading half way through but friends of mine encouraged me to keep reading so I didn. It turned out to be an "ok" book but not one that I would say is a must read.
This isn't typically the type of book I read either so maybe it just wans't for me because I have heard many other people just rave about this book. ...more info
- Fatally flawed
This gripping fictional tale is loosely based on the book of Hosea. As evidenced by the hundreds of glowing reviews, it is an immensely popular book among Christian women. Unfortunately, this author has made some serious theological missteps which are not brought to light in previous reviews.
1. She allows the voice of the Spirit (in bold print -- be careful, the voice of Sarah/Angel's flesh is also in bold on occasion) to contradict the directly inspired Word of God. The whole premise of the book -- that Michael Hosea is "led" by the "Spirit of God" to marry an unregenerate woman is preposterous. God has certainly led many, many godly men and women to marry those with sordid pasts, but AFTER He has performed His redeeming work in their lives. Numerous scripture passages forbid the marriage of a believer and an unbeliever. Several other minor points and the climax of the book also violate this principle. She further pushes her charismatic agenda with dreams and visions as major plot points.
2. She seems to intimate that the relationship between a believer and Jesus Christ can be compared to a marriage relationship. That analogy is NEVER used in scripture. The marriage relationship is always protrayed between God and Israel or Christ and the church. The individual believer is pictured as Sheep/Sheperd, Master/servant, Father/child, and even Vine/branch but the marriage relationship is always reserved for the body of Christ(the church) or Israel.
3. Her Harlequin romance novel style writing is designed to titillate the flesh. I would not consider this book appropriate for unmarried young ladies as intimated in some of the previous reviews. If you are a mom considering this for a teenaged daughter, read the entire book FIRST. Even though the most graphic scenes are between a man and wife, there is far more detail than most young ladies who are desiring to keep their minds as well as their bodies pure before marriage need to know.
This book is thought provoking and has some compelling themes, but in my opinion is not worth reading. You may be able to pick a perfectly good meal out of a restaurant dumpster, but you'll have to go through a lot of disgusting trash to get it. I would highly recommend biographies of Amy Carmichael's life to see the redeeming love of Christ in action with helpless child prostitutes. A bonus: it really happened!...more info
- Can a Herat be Broken Beyond Repair?
[[ASIN:1601420617 Redeeming Love]
Excellant read for anyone, but especially someone whose past
haunts them. The story is full of emotion and makes one search their own
heart to reveal hidden hurts that need healing. Hard to put down....more info
- Revived, Renewed, Restored, Redeemed!
I had never delved into the Book of Hosea on which this novel is based, but let me tell you, by the time I finished Redeeming Love, I had a hunger to search The Word. What I found in Hosea was not a love story, in fact, there wasn't much about Hosea and his wife at all. What I did find in those 14 chapters was a prophet delivering the word of the Lord and not just speaking God's commands, but following them in his everyday life.
Let me tell you, from chapter 1 to chapter 6, God is angry with his people. Then in the first three verses of chapter 6 He says He has torn us into pieces, but will heal us, restore us and bless us so that we may live in His presence. Then in verse 4, He continues all the way to chapter 14 with series of reprimands and punishments for Isreal because of their disobedience. They had everything, fruitful crops, children to carry on their lineage, all the desires of their hearts, yet they were giving praise to an idol for what God had given them. But through it all, God proves himself merciful and says in chapter 14 that all we have to do is ask for His forgiveness and He will restore us.
Wow, what a powerful message not only for the Isrealites of Hosea's time, but for all who love Him and those who are yet to know Him today. While Redeeming Love is a wonderful book and I am grateful for the talent God has give Francine Rivers, I would encourage everyone to read and study Hosea for themselves. This was life changing for me, not Redeeming Love, but Hosea in the inspired, unfailing Word of God....more info
- The Ultimate Romance Novel because it's Real Life
Seriously, the best book I've ever read. It's depth is amazing, piercing the very soul of any woman that has been broken by this fallen world. A must-read for a married woman struggling to forgive herself for her past. It will make you love your God-fearing and God-given husband more than ever!...more info
- BEST BOOK EVER!!!
Although I am a Christian, I'd never read any Christian books until this one. Now that's all I read. This book was recommended by a young man at my church and boy, was I impressed. I've read all my life, I love it, but I'd never read a book that was as great as this one. This is a must for anyone who needs to know what it means to really have a relationship with God & what it needs to be between husbands & wives. Men should read this book also, it'll give them a new perspective on women, marriage and God. I've read 3 or 4 Francine Rivers books now & they are all really, really good, but this one has been the best so far. SERIOUSLY!!! A MUST READ for EVERYONE!!! Thank you Mrs. Rivers for putting the story of Gomer & Hosea into a story everyone could relate to. ...more info
- Loved the plot
It was easy to identify with the main character. Beautifully written. Good book to read while curled up next to a fire!...more info
This is the best book I have ever read. It has changed my heart.
I want it to be made in to a movie so much....more info
- Redeeming Love
Great product, it was exactly as the seller said it would be, was in great condition...more info
- Simply amazing, even for guys
I am a guy and was a little skeptical about reading this, mostly because of the cover and the title (my girlfriend recommended it to me). However once I got into it I could not put it down. This book is an amazing reminder of how much God loves us, how he has plans for our lives using the bad to turn to good, and finally it demonstrates the type of love a man should have for his wife. Like other people said, this should be required reading in high schools....more info
- Fine reader
This is a MUST READ book! The characters are encaptivating. Worth every penny....more info
- Not truly Biblical
OK, it's been a couple of years since I read this book, and I've avoided posting a review for a couple of reasons, namely because there are sooo many other reviews, and because I'd rather just ignore a book I don't like rather than publicly dissing on it. But somehow I ended up back on this page, read a few more reviews and decided to add my two cents and perhaps shed what may be new light on this old subject. But since I haven't read all 591 reviews, I can't promise it is new.
The main, rehashed point made on these pages is that this story is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible. But from the get-go I found this to be a very UN-biblical take on that story. Although it is true that Hosea was asked by God to marry Gomer, a former prostitute, that story and this one differ in a SIGNIFICANT way. God did not ask Hosea to do anything outside of His Law. Jews were only allowed to marry other Jews, and Gomer was Jewish. And she was NOT actively prostituting herself at the time of their marriage. (She had been a prostitute, and became one again after their marriage, but was not when God called Hosea to marry her). In Redeeming Love, God tells Michael to do something that goes directly against His revealed will by telling him to marry a woman who is not a Christian, and who is actively practicing immorality. To me, this is a serious flaw in this "based on a book of the Bible" hook. When I have shared this with some Christian friends who said this was "the best book they ever read," they admitted that they never thought of those things. Which seems sad to me, who could not miss them.
Even putting that aspect aside, I didn't find this book to be all that enjoyable. There's already a lot of discussion over its dark theme vs. if stuff like this is needed nowadays, and I won't revisit that except to say it was VERY depressing. Angel's early life was almost unbearable to read, and I loved her so much at first and my heart was rooting for her; thus I hated it when I actually got tired of her. I also think there was far, far too much in the way of physical descriptions of the main characters who, of course, were perfectly built and molded. Just like every other ordinary romance. I prefer some imperfections myself--more relatable in my opinion.
And for those who say there was nothing wrong with the sex because it was between a married couple--I would agree with you were it not for one issue: their marriage to me was a farce. She was barely conscious after having been beaten to a pulp, but he's so bent on marrying her that he sends for a preacher who "marries" them while Michael is carrying her out of the brothel, and when the preacher asks Angel if she'll take Michael as her husband, she says, "Why not?" and passes out again (this may not be an exact quote since I haven't read it in a while, but you get the idea). I got the feeling that this entire "wedding" scene was forced, because Angel would never have willingly married him but they had to get married somehow so the sex scenes could be written in. Anytime I read a story where unrealistic things are being forced on me, I rebel.
This story is not without some spiritual value, like the idea of God relentlessly pursuing us, and how a man could continually will himself to love his wife despite the "for worse" part of his vows (and this was about as worse as you can get), but I don't think it's worth the read when those values are readily--and more Biblically--found elsewhere. ...more info
- Awesome book!!!
I can't think of anyway to describe this book than amazing! I admit that I struggled through the prologue chapter because it was sad and depressing and it didn't pull me into the book as much as when I started the first chapter. After reading that first full chapter, I couldn't put it down. I read half the book that night and finished it the next evening. I did not want to put it down. The redemption of the characters in this book is such a reminder to us all of God's amazing grace. A very powerful book that is not over the top in any area...a perfect balance of romance, drama and Christ's love shining through in the darkest of times!...more info
- My new favorite book!
This book is truly my new favorite. There are so many different ways to appreciate this love story! It really helped me grow spiritually. It's a great Christian historical fiction book. ...more info
- Life changing
After having received this book as a gift, I was so impacted. I decided to use this book for our women's fellowship book club at church. The issues that the main character Angel struggles with, shame & rejection affect many. The probing questions at the end can ultimately work towards wholeness and healing. The strongest point in the entire story is the love of our Heavenly father as depicted by another character, Michael Hosea. We are loved deeply, passionately, fiercely and with a love that continues to draw us to Him. Now that is a message of hope and good news for all!...more info
- Finished reading within 48 hours
This book was so moving and really brought about a change in my heart. Everything I read doctrine-wise concerning scripture I already knew, but it made me see God's love from another vantage point and held such a powerful grip on me that once I was halfway through it I could not put it down! If you are not a Believer, I don't think you'll fully understand the amazing message this book can send to those that love Christ. Truly, you should pray before beginning this book and ask God to give you eyes to see what he's trying to teach you through this story. GRACE-that's one of the main themes you should take from this novel.
I highly recommend this reading, it is excellent!...more info
I thought this book was excellent. If you aren't in love you will be after reading this book! Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways....more info
Francine Rivers uses Biblical truths in Redeeming Love to accurately display spiritual, physical, and emotional battles that come and go in life. The sacrificial and covenant love that is displayed really tugs at you heart!...more info
- Wonderful, beautiful love story.
It is the most beautiful illustration of God's love for us. Very touching and well written....more info
- Redeeming Love
This book was amazing! It touched me more than any book I have ever read! I also enjoyed ordering from Amazon.com, and having it shipped right to me....more info
- Redeeming Love
This book tells not only of a seemingly impossible, desperate love between a man and a woman but also of the endless and unconditional love that God has for each and every one of us. A really great read. ...more info
- Wonderful Read
This is the first Christian romance I've read. It jumped off the bookshelf and into my arms. I'm so glad for divine interventions. It's a wonderful story about a young woman who just can't accept that she can change, or that there is a God who would love her after all the sinful things she's done (and they are doozys). The story drew me in and kept me reading. I highly recommend it... It's a big read and very satisfying....more info