This book was a Christmas present from my brother a few years back, before I was saved. My brother must have searched for a Christian romance book, knowing that I love to read romance stories. This book, however, sat unread on my bookshelf until now. Not because it was Christian and I wasn't, but because I had a 5-foot long pile of books waiting to be read. I still do.
Now, all I can say is, read this as soon as you can.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a retelling of Gomer and Hosea, from the Bible. Set in the 1850's, Michael Hosea is an honest, God-fearing farmer and Angel - his Gomer - is a prostitute. Angel was sold into prostitution as a child, and now expects nothing but betrayal from men and is full of anger and hatred. When Angel meets Michael Hosea, her life is changed as Michael obeys God's calling to marry her. From there on, Angel is faced with a man who loves God and who wants her to know Jesus as well. Redeeming Love is a story of battling with fears, of redemption, of love. It is not so much the love story of Michael Hosea and Angel - rather, it tells the greatest love story of all times, that of Jesus and His love for all people.
As the author says, this was her first book as a born-again Christian and also her statement of faith. Everything in me could relate to what the characters battled with in the book. Angel and her fears and doubt; Michael Hosea and his love for Jesus and wanting to faithfully follow Jesus in all. I questioned myself and my faithfulness together with the characters, and found God's answers together with the characters.
Truth to be told, Redeeming Love shook my soul. This touching story about God's everlasting and unconditional love shook my soul. I cried, I smiled, I laughed. Most importantly, I finished the book changed. I look the world, myself, and God differently now. I have been reminded of the redemption and forgiveness I can find in Jesus.
This might just be one of the the most beautiful books I will ever read. Certainly, it is the most beautiful story I will ever know.