“Redeeming Love” is a Christian romantic fiction novel from Francine Rivers, a well-known Christian author. Most Christian romantic fiction provides insight into Biblical characters’ lives in novel format, but “Redeeming Love” takes another approach to Biblical fiction. Francine Rivers pulls plot points from the book of Hosea and weaves an intricate storyline taking place in 1850s California.
One of my favorite quotes from this novel is, “Just because you don’t believe in the Lord doesn’t mean his power isn’t working for you.” I feel that it perfectly sums up the overall message of the novel.
The story begins with Michael Hosea, a man who makes a living selling produce from his farm in California. An upstanding young man, he seeks God’s will in everything. But, an unexpected message from God upsets his entire world: The command to love a prostitute named Angel.
Angel was originally brought to California to keep men occupied in the gold camps. Her past taught her to hate all men, and she certainly never bargained for a God-fearing husband.
God speaks to Michael and asks him to marry Angel and love her despite her profession, but Angel resists him at every turn. Like the prostitute Gomer the prophet Hosea married in the Bible, Angel runs away from Michael Hosea repeatedly.
She rejects his love and goes back to her past, sinful ways.
Despite it all, Michael follows God’s directive to love her unconditionally as God loved Israel.
The story goes on to follow Angel and Michael’s relationship, and shows the power of God’s healing in a person’s life, and in a marriage.
“Redeeming Love” changed my life. Reading this book taught me how to love myself, despite my imperfections. God’s unconditional love for us is woven into every chapter. I love the parallels Francine Rivers draws from the Biblical story of Hosea in this story. It lead me back to the Bible many times as I sought to understand the message of this book more clearly.
Keziah Michalski, a junior elementary education major, says that she read this book twice and even bought it for her Kindle. She describes it as, “The perfect not perfect love story.”
When I suffered from low self-esteem in the aftermath of a breakup, “Redeeming Love” was one of three books that really improved my outlook on life and reminded me that I am loved.
After a failed relationship, I felt used and found it hard to trust men. I related to Angel’s character and took comfort in her rise from despair and how God’s love changed her life.
When dealing with heartbreak, it’s often therapeutic to have a more objective view of heartbreak. Stories can often be comforting as we can put ourselves in the character’s shoes and learn more about our own lives in the process. This allows us to more fully understand the situation.
Understanding leads to acceptance and redemption.
I highly recommend this book to those suffering from low self-esteem or heartbreak, but really, “Redeeming Love” is a wonderful pick-me-up for any situation.
Sara Roberts is a junior Business Administration and English major.