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.
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Customer Reviews for Redeeming Love: A Novel - eBook
This book completely surpassed all my expectations. I had heard good things about it, and i thought the premise of it being a retelling of the story of Hosea in the old West sounded intriguing. As I began this book, I was so drawn into the story line that I often found I did not want to put it down.
Angel and Michael Hosea's characters were so skillfully written, and nothing about the story seemed contrived. I found myself near tears so many times. After all, I could relate to Michael's dilemma since I am currently in love with a non-Christian who is so embittered about the things of the Lord. I am always pleased when a Christian author is able to master the technique of weaving Christian principles into a story. And this author does.
As much as I loved the story, I think the author's note at the end of the story truly impressed me as well. It was something to see a Christian author tell her testimony and explain how her salvation experience was somewhat akin to the experience of Angel. I also appreciated the frank way the author dealt with the physical relationship between Angel and Michael. So many Christian authors do not deal with this topic openly, but Francine Rivers is not one of them!
Finally, I think the story of Angel's childhood prostitution and ensuing young life truly broke my heart. I am sure that there were girls just like her who did exist in the history of our race. Sometimes it was hard to read the details, but it only added to the connection I felt with the characters.
Redeeming Love is a beautiful retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer set in the 1850's California's gold towns.
At the tender age of eight, Angel was sold into prostitution, and for the next ten years hurt, betrayal, and men's greediness accompany her day to day and night by night life. When yet another man comes to visit her room, Angel is most surprised to hear him say that God told him to marry her. With each passing day Michael demonstrates God's love to Angel in a way she has never experienced defying her personal knowledge and experience of love. Her callused and frozen heart begins to heal , but with it comes the stark reality her past is just too great to for a new start. She runs from her husbands pursuing love, because the Lord's unconditional, redemptive, and all-consuming love is even scarier to her.
Angel's character was impeccably written, she experienced many unexplainable hurts that defined her and made her the sort of woman she is. Not once did she step put of her character and pretend to be something she isn't, many a time her choices were so true to her nature they were hurting to herself and others. Michael's constant hurts were hard for the reader, but his strength and faith in the Lord was inspiring and admirable.
The overall message of God's love was imparted with such wisdom and grace that both the non believer and christian could both glean different lessons from the same book. Francine Rivers created a literary masterpiece that draws you closer to God and leaves much thought for food.
I received this book for free, form Blogging for Books, in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
*Because the subject included child molestation, rape, and prostitution I recommend this book for mature readers (high-school and up).
Plot: This book is loosely based on the Bible story of Hosea. It shows one mans undying love for his wife, and mirrors the unabated love of God for His children.
Characters: From the very first words, until the very last, you follow Angel on a journey to find herself, God, and what it truly means to love and be loved. You see into her soul and you feel her pain and her joy. You see her character evolve into what she never thought she would ever be able to become
Themes: There are two equally important themes in this book; love and forgiveness. Throughout the book, Angel had to learn both. She had to learn how to love and be loved by both her husband and God. She also had to learn to accept the forgiveness offered to her by both.
Emotion: From page one, this book drips with emotion. You feel every emotion that Angel feels. You can feel the emotion of Michael as well. From his desire for his wife, to the pain he feels when she leaves. Every last emotion jumps off the pages and lands right into the heart of the reader.
Overall: This book leaves you enraptured from the very beginning. You are left sucked in to Angel's life as a child and the tragedy that sends her on a downward spiral. It's a hard book to put to down. You're left thinking about the story even when you're not reading it. And you can even begin to see traces of it in your own life
I requested Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers to review because so many different people have recommended it to me over the years. I thought it was time I checked it out to see what it was all about.
If you haven't read it, Redeeming Love is a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer in the Bible - Hosea was a prophet, and God told him to take a prost.itute as his wife. This story is about Michael Hosea, a farmer in California in the mid-1800's. God tells him to take Angel, a prost.tute, for his wife. The story is about Michael loving Angel and repeatedly taking her back, even when she leaves him. Eventually he breaks through her hard shell, but she is still not complete. The rest of the book is about God's pursuit of her, until she finally turns to Him.
The plot of this book probably wouldn't make much sense to the outside world. Why would God ask an upright man to marry a prost.itute? But we all have sinned and turned away from God. We all have chosen our own way over His way. We turn back to our own way over and over. But God is always there, loving us, bringing us back, waiting for us to return so He can wash us clean. I thought Rivers did a nice job of representing that in the book.
I will say that the subject matter of this book is obviously geared toward adults. We see Angel's story from the very beginning, and some very disturbing things happen to her and are done by her later on. The physical aspect of Michael and Angel's relationship is also a part of this book. Rivers is good about never being explicit, but the events are implied even when not described. I would definitely not recommend this to younger girls. It's more appropriate for older women or women who are married.
Would I recommend this book? I think so, but with caution. I'm always a little leary of fiction books that focus this much on s.ex, because of the whole emotional aspect - women aren't affected so much visually as emotionally, so I think as Christian women it is good to guard our minds and proceed with caution when it comes to some romance novels. However, I think River's heart is in the right place, and she handles everything in the book with tact. Beyond that, the underlying message is powerful and points the reader back to Jesus. I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, but it was a good book.
Note: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multonomah in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.
I love it when I find a great book because I simply want to tell everyone about it and hope that they strongly take my suggestion and pick it up. Some of these stories once you immerse yourself in them become a part of your body and soul. They live with you long after you read them because you find yourself thinking about the theme in so many different aspects of your day. When Francine Rivers got the notion for the storyline for her novel Redeeming Love it came directly out of the book Hosea in the Bible. It shows the way God loves us in such a profound and simply unconditional love that it is simply breath-taking and life changing. This novel and it's storyline will move you to tears and show you just how much God's love can change your life.
The storyline is very reminiscent of Les Misrables, in which a young girl name Sarah spends her life witnessing not only through words but in actions that she is worthless and unwanted. The only people who see her as anything as those who will exploit her beauty and cause her to build such walls that nothing, even the love of God will not be able to penetrate them. First learning that she was a product of an illicit affair her mother had with a wealthy married man, she over hears a conversation that he had wished she had never been born, that she was a mistake and one that he can never accept in his life. Yet Sarah's mother does all she can to protect and care for her child, but soon, life takes a terrible toll on her and she dies, leaving Sarah behind with a man she knows only as Uncle Rab.
Rab is simply a drunken man who loved her mother in between his lucid moments and now finds that taking care of Sarah is simply too much for anyone to handle. When he learns a wealthy man is looking for a daughter to adopt, he thinks he has found his way out. He sells nine-year-old Sarah to him, a man only known as Duke who will ultimately teach Sarah that he will be the only life she will ever know. He tells her that her name is now Angel.
Michael Hosea is a God-fearing man who believes God will show him who his future wife will be, but he never dreamed that would lead him to Pair-of-Dice, a brothel and find a soiled dove in desperate need of God's love. Michael simply can not believe that this is whom God would bestow His promises to find a wife in being the highest paid prostitute in town, one that only the highest bidder can see, but God offers him the opportunity to convince her that despite what she has been lead to believe her whole life, Michael is the real deal. Now if only those mile high walls she has constructed to protect herself against men can be brought down, Michael might just have a chance, but to Angel the only hope for a different life is if she dies and that is just what she has planned when Michael finds her.
I received Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions in this review are strictly my own. Once I received this to review, I didn't realize that this book had been written more than twenty years ago and the message contained in the pages is more relevant now to women who need to understand forgiveness, unconditional love and redemption in Christ. I literally read this in one sitting and could not put it down. I was beyond captivated by the eloquent words that Francine Rivers used to retell the biblical story of Hosea in this novel. I found myself in tears so many times, by the demonstration of Michael's love and commitment to Angel despite how many times she tries to push him away. It's like one reviewer shared, "Michael Hosea is the consummate hero; Angel, in one way or another, is every woman who has ever lived without love." You can not read this one and not be changed forever. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars and will now hold a prominent place in my personal library. I KNOW I will read this one again and again.
Francine Rivers is a prolific and powerful writer. I have read several of her books, but none touched me like the story held between the covers of Redeeming Love.
Not only is Redeeming Love based on one of the most powerful stories in the Bible, the marriage of Hosea to Gomer, a prostitute, but Rivers has developed characters rich in courage, strength and humanity. The dialogue and scenes are lush with the history of the California gold rush and the families who followed their men into this strange and often unforgiving desire to strike it rich.
Central to the story is a five-year old girl, Sarah, later called Angel, sold into child prostitution and used body and soul for the needs of ugly and brutal men. It isn't surprising that she grows hard and bitter. And it isn't surprising that she doesn't understand the meaning of the word "love."
Enter Michael Hosea. A man of God. A man who realizes that God has called him to marry Angel, but the battle is in convincing Angel. The stumbling blocks she presents to God's plan in Michael's life are treacherous and often mean-spirited, but his patience never seems to wear thin.
Others work against Michael's attempt to finish the work God has placed in his hands, and still others can see the peaks and valleys Michael and Angel walk through are making a difference for both.
I'll stop here because I want you to enjoy Redeeming Love as much as I did. A lengthy book at 461 pages, the story will grasp your heart and you will read until you know the outcome.
Congratulations to Francine Rivers on writing a spectacular book!
Redeeming Love is for fans of Christian fiction and romance. Although rich in its story line based as it is on Hosea's story, there are scenes which might be unsuitable for young teenage girls. I would suggest a parent reading it first.
Note: I received a free copy from WaterbrookMultnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Slightly based on the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love helped me understand God work at hand and how even when we don’t see him in our path, he is always there guiding us. I have always been a fan of Francine Rivers, but I absolutely loved this novel. It was heartbreaking, joyful and encouraging all in one. We are first introduced to a young girl named Sarah, who is desperate to have her father acknowledge and love her. Later we see her grow and her mother selling herself in order to feed and care for young Sarah. After her mother passes, a young Sarah is sold to a man who uses her for years. Destroying her innocence and childhood. Just like Gomer in the bible, Sarah results to selling herself and using her body to manipulate and use men. She is the most beautiful woman in the area…men literally wait all day for 30 min with her. She should feel powerful, beautiful, wanted…but no matter what she is feeling more and more alone and broken each day. Going by the name Angel, she becomes completely harden to men, love and God. No one in her life has ever shown her the true meaning of God’s love. Even as a young girl, a priest kicked her and her mother out of a church when they were desperate for help. One day when she was out for a walk, a man named Michael Hosea sees her. He is a good, Godly man. Pure and clean, waiting and praying for his wife to come. The moment he sees Angel, he knows God is telling him to marry her. Of course she thinks he’s just falling for her body and refuses to become attached to him. She tries constantly to seduce him, but with a lot of prayer, he turns her down. Knowing he is there to show her God’s love, not use her like all the men before. So just like in the story Hosea in the bible, Michael marries Angel. She fights, refuses to love him, and yes, even runs to another man. No matter what he tells her, she only sees herself as an object and never capable of love. But just when Michael feels like he completely lost her, Christ opens her heart and she allows him to change her. This was an amazing story and perfect for anyone who wants to get lost in a book. You will be touched by Michael's forgiving love, and heartbroken for the pain Sarah carries with her daily.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers takes place in California’s gold country in the 1850s. It is about a woman, Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child and spent her entire life full despondency because of her hatred for the men who used her. Michael Hosea, a godly farmer, felt God directed him to marry Angel, much to the disapproval of everyone around him, including Angel.
This story is definitely a love story, the hard working love of a man for a woman, and the love of Michael’s God that eventually wins over the heart of Angel through the kindness and love of those around her. As Angel eases into a new life of being a farmer’s wife, she questions her ability to love and be loved. Though many times her doubts take her over, Michael maintains his trust in his God – that He will bring them together as a man and wife who love and trust one another. This story compels the reader to evaluate their own attitudes and actions toward those caught in a life of pain and sin that bears the responsibility. It is certainly a good example to a believer of how God can change a heart and cause a life to become brand new through the love and acceptance by His faithful few. This book reminds me of the saying, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
This story mirrors the Hosea/Gomer story in the Bible where God directs a man to marry a prostitute in order for Him to show His redeeming love for His beloved people. Rivers does a great job of drawing the reader into the story and showing how insecurities and doubts that can prevent a person from giving and receiving love. I read this story years ago and it remains one of my favorites today. I highly recommend this book, especially to romantics who love a good ending.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.
Redeeming Love, written by Francine Rivers, is a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer in the Bible. Set in the mid-1800s during the California Gold Rush, it brings forth the lives of Angel and Michael.
Angel, sold into prostitution as a child, has never been able to escape from her plight. She finds herself in Pair-a-Dice, California, working as a prostitute, where her beauty draws men in flocks. Her hardened heart and hatred toward these men get her through each day, until Michael Hosea comes to town. Immediately drawn to Angel, he feels God is telling him to marry her. Although the marriage does not come about the way he plans, he is determined to honor his vows, even when Angel runs away from him over and over. She begins trying to escape what she feels is being owned by another man, and ends up running the final time in an effort to protect Michael from a life she sees as not good enough for him.
This is a truly beautiful love story. I would, however, recommend caution in regard to preteens or younger readers due to the subject matter. While nothing lewd or inappropriate is included, portions are clearly intended for more mature readers.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
About a third of a way through this book, I was becoming anxious. The main character’s choices were so dark—and getting darker all the time. Even as I reached the last one hundred pages, Angel continued to choose wrong. She was hurting herself and everyone around her—even when she was trying to do right! "Redeeming Love" is a painful book to read.
However, when Angel finally got the point, which wasn’t even the point that I’d expected her to get, I decided the book had been well worth my time. Francine Rivers is a gifted storyteller who presents the message she’s trying to convey in unexpected, yet meaningful ways.
Her personal testimony, shared just before the reading group guide, was a touching bonus. She gives God all the credit for the content of this book and tells her readers why.
"Redeeming Love" is a retelling of the Bible’s Book of Hosea, set in the mid-1800’s during the California Gold Rush. Angel is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child and was never able to escape. Michael Hosea is the farmer who obeys God’s voice to marry her, even against her will. The result is a story of determined love based on choice and Angel’s discoveries about all that entails.
Supporting characters, their stories, and the lessons they learn add much value to the message of the book. I thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending it to me in exchange for my review.
Compelling, heart wrenching, and absolutely amazing!
Several blogging friends of mine had given this book four to five stars- certainly a high enough rating to pique my interest. So when I given an opportunity to review it, I took the chance. After all, I thought, Francine Rivers is supposed to be a really great author right? No kidding! She's amazing. Her style, her research, the heart of the story, it's all beautiful.
Redeeming Love is, in a way, an 1850s retelling of Hosea and Gomer's love story with Rivers' own spin to it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. My heart ached for Michael and at the same time I admired his strength and faith. One thing that began to get on my nerves after a while was all the names he called Angel: Amanda, Tirzah, Mara, Beloved, and when he was frustrated, Angel. Though it wasn't a big deal in the long run.
Rivers wrote Angel's character with perfection. Rivers presented her excellently, holding nothing back. There was never a moment that the word "unrealistic" came to mind. Angel's struggles were raw, real, and tangible. There's more I could say, but I do not want to spoil anything, so I'll close with this: Redeeming Love is a story of unconditional love, of heart break, and of redemption when it seems impossible. I highly recommend this book to mature readers.
I received this book from Waterbrook/Multomah through their review program, Blogging for Books, in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
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It is the 1850 in California, and the gold rush is well underway. Men are in overabundance, and the few women that reside there live in brothels and pleasure palaces. Angel is one such woman, though not by choice. Sold to a man in a brothel as a child, she barely remembers the happier days before her mother died. She is haunted by memories of her father, her broken-hearted mother, her cruel grandparents and life in the enchanting little cottage before everything went wrong.
The only thing that keeps her alive is her hatred. Hatred towards the man who bought her, hatred towards the men she is forced to take care of, and hatred towards God Himself for giving her life and then keeping her alive. Even after she is free of her original master, she ends up in Pair-A-Dice working in another brothel because she knows no other way to live.
Then Michael Hosea rides into town. Intrigued by the cold, hard, icy demeanor of a woman so young and beautiful, he is compelled by Someone greater than himself to seek her out and marry her. It is a mission that he himself is scarcely prepared to carry out. Despite Michael's tender love for the prostitute he only knows as "Angel" and his patience in waiting for her to be ready to receive his love as it was meant to be - she continually runs away from him. Again and again she leaves Michael behind. At first, she leaves him because she doesn't want to belong to another man. Then she leaves him because she loves him. Will Michael ever be able to demonstrate God's love to a woman who refuses to see the truth and be helped? And will Angel ever willingly receive love from the Father who will never let her down?
I read this book ten years ago, and it is just the kind of book you want to read over and over again. No matter what point you are in your life, this book is such a wonderful reminder that God's love for us never changes, expires, or wavers. Angel is the lowest of the low, yet God raises her up to be the woman He intended her to be. Obviously, one has questions as to how God allows horrible things to happen to people. But God has a plan in everything, and no matter what happens in our lives, God is there, He is watching, and He is in control. Rivers has written a book that is for everybody, regardless of age, race, denomination, or sex. It will open your eyes to God's love and will remind you that no matter what, God is always present.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
Angel was sold into prostitution at the age of 8. One day a man named Michael sees her walking down the street and knows that she is the one God wants him to marry.
The story line to this book was great. You could really see and understand Angel's struggles and I could relate with them in a sense. When you go through horrific things in your past, you do not just forget it and move on, you struggle through it and doubt yourself and those around you. So I felt like her struggles were all very realistically written.
Personally, I thought this book was too long. Parts of it seemed to drag on and seemed irrelevant. She could have cut a bit of this book (mostly the middle fluff) so it stayed more captivating the whole time. It would still be realistic and believable but it would not make me feel like I wasted time reading those parts.
I prefer books that bring God in slowly and gradually.....why? Because if I can convince a non believer to read a book and God is thrown at the the whole time, do you think they would finish reading it? Do you think they would get anything out of it? No. Of course not. They would shut down and turn further from God. This book is good for believers (but even then, it is alot of God to take in) but not for a non believer and personally, the non-believers are the people I want to talk to.
Would I read this book again? No. It is too long and too much God for me (and yes, I AM a believer), do I recommend this book? Yes. Alot of people really enjoy it so please read it and tell me what you think!
***This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review***
LOVE THIS BOOK!! God is all over this book. From the minute I picked it up I could not put it down until I finished it. I am an avid fan of Francine Rivers and this has to be my favorite from her.
This is the story of unconditional love between a husband and wife. The story of Angel, who was sold into prostitution and has felt nothing but hurt from men. Michael is a farmer and Godly man, he is called from GOD to marry Angel and does. Angel does not understand his love and feels he is only nice to her because he wants something. Michael will not give into her hatefulness and heartache that her actions cause him. You will laugh, cry, hate Angel, feel sorry for Michael, wonder why does Michael put up with Angel, pray and not want to put this down to the very end. Between the two characters you will be thinking of your own circumstances that you have gone through with GOD and makes you think.
This book is based on the book of the bible Hosea. I guarantee when you get done, or even before that you will be intrigued to read this book in the bible. The book also includes a six part reading study in the back of the book, you can do this in a group or by yourself. I recommend this book to everyone!! READ THIS ONE you will wish you had read this a long time ago.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books group review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
When I began reading this book, I loved it. But, as I got further into it, I began to realize how sexually graphic it was. After a few days of reading it, I noticed that I was beginning to look at and treat others in a very negative way, just as Angel looked at and treated everyone else. Horrible sexually graphic images filled my mind, and I was drawn away from God. This book made me think in a very lustful way. I stopped reading it about halfway through. It may have a good ending, but it should have never been written. I am very sad that this book is deemed Christian. If I were a nonChristian reading this book, I would see Christianity as very vulgar, and I would see no need to turn to Christ. I'm sorry that I ever even began reading it. I highly discourage anyone else from reading this book.
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Review 18 for Redeeming Love: A Novel - eBook
Good book, worth the read!
Date:May 20, 2013
Powerful, heart-retching and thought provoking! An excellent illustration of grace in action! See a young girls struggle through sexual slavery and reluctant deliverance. See a young man's aching commitment to a reluctant bride and to his Sovereign Lord! See the joy that can come through the acceptance of forgiveness and grace! From a strictly human perspective, this story seems impossible but, God can make all things possible through Him, for our good and His glory! Not for young readers (recommend high school or older)!!
I gave this to my 18 year old granddaughter for Christmas at her request. She was already to page 20 before the rest of us finished opening our gifts. She had read part of a friends book but wanted a copy of her own.