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Redeeming Love

April 25, 2008

Redeeming LoveAngel is a beaten down, jaded prostitute of eighteen in the midst of the California Gold Rush of the 1850’s. She was the illegitimate child of a wealthy man who never acknowledged her and a mother who loved her, but never quite enough. Sold into the life of prostitution at the age of eight after her mother’s death, Angel is preyed upon by brothel owner Duke. After escaping Duke and heading to California, Angel ends up in another brothel run by The Dutchess and her brutal bodyguard Magowan. Angel has given up all hope, has no belief in a higher power, and has resigned herself to just surviving.

When Michael Hosea enters Angel’s life, he brings with him hope for the future. Michael claims that God has told him to take Angel as his wife, but Angel has no interest in believing this stranger. He is, as Angel has come to believe with her life experiences, just like any other man. Micheal decides to prove himself worthy and takes her, after a near death beating by Magowan, as his wife to his cabin in the woods. But Angel is not a simple girl and can’t comprehend Micheal’s devotion to God and his love for her. When she starts develop feelings for Micheal, she runs away, scared of her own feelings.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the book picked by my book club to discuss in April. Labeled as Christian fiction, the book is loosely based upon the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer.

To be honest, I was not all that enthusiastic to read this book, as I have never read any Christian fiction books previously (of course, I suppose that this is the whole point of a book club, to read out of your normal comfort zone). After reading the last few pages of Redeeming Love, I was sure glad that this book was the one chosen. In fact, I would venture to say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

It turns out that the book was an extremely satisfying read. I found that the author explored the human condition quite thoroughly and I loved the fact that all of the characters were flawed, which made it so much more realistic. They were also well developed, especially Angel. There were many times while reading that I became frustrated with Angel and the choices she made, although I was able to understand her reactions since her feelings played out so well on the page.  

Even though this book is Christian fiction, I didn’t find it to be at all preachy like another novel I read recently. In fact, I think it is kind of unfortunate that Redeeming Love is labeled Christian fiction, since many people might shy away from this well written book based upon its label. Probably my only beef with the book was that it sometimes was a bit melodramatic for my tastes.

In the end, the books message is not only about God’s unconditional love, but it also is a story of survival and one woman’s struggle to live the life that she, as a human being, deserves. All of this makes compelling fiction.

For other interesting reviews of Redeeming Love, check out the blogs Book Escape and Grasping for the Wind.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to enter my giveaway – you have until Wednesday night to win!

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2008 10:08 pm

    Thank you for the link-up. Its a good book. You have a very nice site.

  2. April 26, 2008 2:37 am

    If you liked this, you’ll LOVE A Voice in the Wind and the sequel to that. It can get slightly preachy, but it doesn’t last long and you can skip over it. Seriously, this woman knows how to tell a really good story. I can’t recommend A Voice in the Wind high enough.

  3. April 26, 2008 7:43 am

    I usually tend to avoid most Christian fiction (Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time excluded) like the plague as it tends to be preachy and badly written… but if this one wasn’t, then I’m happy to hear that. It actually sounds quite interesting. I’ll have to consider reading this one.

  4. April 26, 2008 9:17 am

    My work bookclub just read this one–and I have to admit I was a little turned off by the subject matter (I’m not in the club–which is more about gossip than reading–so I didn’t read the book anyway). Glad you liked it better than you expected. Oh…did you see I mentioned your giveaway on my blog?

  5. April 26, 2008 9:51 am

    I’ve never been one to read Christian fiction either, but this sounds really good. I have read several good books set during the California Gold Rush, and they were so good.

    I’ll add it to my list of books to read. Sigh… So many books, so little time.

    P.S. I just finished I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles last week. I read almost all the Phillipa Gregory books after you recommended them to me, but I have to say that I, Elizabeth was the best written book about the Tudors that I have read yet. She’s also written a trilogy about Gweniviere and another about Isolde and Tristan. They’re on my ever growing list!

  6. April 26, 2008 10:18 am

    Thank you for a terrific review! I, too, would probably bring pre-conceived ideas to this knowing its label, but now I am convinced that I just might have to it.

  7. April 26, 2008 11:53 pm

    I’ve got this one on my shelf and just keep reading positive reviews of it. Soon, soon. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  8. April 27, 2008 12:48 am

    I have read a few reviews about this one – and they are all positive.

  9. April 27, 2008 8:12 am

    This sounds like a really interesting book. *Goes to put it on her to be read list*

  10. April 27, 2008 3:45 pm

    Trish #1 – thanks for the recommendation of A Voice in the Wind. I will check that one out!

    Joannah – I’ve seen I, Elizabeth at the bookstore and am sure that it will be added to my TBR pile! I’m in the middle of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and have to say that I’m lovin’ it!

  11. April 27, 2008 5:43 pm

    Hi! I am visiting your blog as part of the weekly geek challenge. I have written a little review of your blog in my geek post as I have enjoyed my visit here!
    *smiles*
    Kim

  12. April 28, 2008 10:09 pm

    Christian fiction is actually getting better. I’m a Christian and I tend to skip over any overly preachy parts. 🙂

    I think there’s just so much talent in this area right now.

    I liked this book, but the aforementioned Mark of the Lion Trilogy I adore beyond all measure!

  13. April 29, 2008 7:54 am

    Amy – I too am Christian, but like you just don’t like a book to be too preachy. This one was really toned down on the preachy parts and just a good story!

  14. May 9, 2008 2:51 pm

    Francine Rivers is one of my favorite writers, I’ve read nearly all of her books, she once upon a time was a romance novelist. Christian fiction used to be “milky toast” they have a lot more bite to them now. Christian fiction has really come a long way, all topics are now discussed, more “real” stories are introduced, better characters. Lynn Austin is another good writer.

  15. May 11, 2008 4:31 am

    Awesome book. I would keep it labeled Christian fiction though since this is what I mostly read I find these authors to be a lot like Francine and not at all preachy just good writing. Mostly I am drawn to the preachy stuff anyway. I think her books are so awesome because they are Christian writing. I basically shy away from books that aren’t by Christian authors or authors I know to be Christian and write regular fiction but no one really knows this. It’s funny how many of these authors are out there and people are reading them without even suspecting. I also have authors that were previously secular but became Christians like Beverly Lewis.

  16. May 11, 2008 4:37 am

    PS Try Karen Kingsbury, very religious, but awesome writer. In fact she did not want to do Christian fiction years ago and then read a Francine Rivers novel and realized that she could right good Christian material and not fluff. In fact start with “One Tuesday Morning” what a tearjerker. If you want to read one heck of a story about 9/11 it is this one, then you should read Beyond Tuesday Morning. The synopsis on the cover was even awesome. It was heartbreaking yet inspiring, is this even possible? In this book it was like being heartbroken and uplifted at once. How weird, like bittersweet. I think this was the first one mom read too. I could not put it down. My heart was just breaking for the main character every second literally my heart was in my throat. Okay so don’t read this one in public.

  17. May 21, 2009 3:22 pm

    I have finally read this and I really enjoyed it. I’m linking to your review!

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