“Redeeming Love” is extreme heartache, pain and cruelty of sin intertwined beautifully with the patient faithfulness, full forgiveness, unchanging hope and endurance of love. We first meet Angel as a little girl. Then her name is Sarah. The reader follows Sarah through unspeakable heartache, horrors and hell on earth. Hated and unwanted by her birth father, Sarah’s mother is forced to choose: her lover (a married man) or her child. That torment drove Sarah’s Mom to depression and death. Orphaned at a young age, Sarah is given to “a better life”–a man looking for a beautiful little girl to take care of. Emotional, physical and sexual abuse turn little Sarah into Angel, a desirable yet emotionally hardened young woman, bought at the highest price. In an attempt to flee her vile abuser she finds herself penniless and starving in America and eventually ends up in a California gold mining camp. There we meet Micheal, a humble farmer with a firm faith in the Heavenly Father. In town to sell his crops, Micheal first catches a glimpse of the rare blonde beauty that every gold miner is trying to buy some time with–Angel. Commanded by God to seek Angel as his wife, Micheal faithfully pursues her hand and heart.
Based on the Book of Hosea in the Bible, Francine Rivers gives us a more current version of the Prophet Hosea and God’s command to marry a prostitute. Furthermore, when his wife returns to prostitution, how Hosea is commanded to go back and retrieve his wife. “Redeeming Love” is a haunting yet beautiful page turner. I could not put it down. I wept for the little Sarah and later the passionless and broken Angel. I cheered for Micheal and cried over his hurt and betrayal. I was even forced to examined myself and how I judge others’ actions; it is so easy to feel “better then thou”. I was humbled by God’s never ending love and pursuit of Sarah, and Micheal’s quiet and faithful love and forgiveness–only made possible because of Christ and His grace. I strongly recommend this book, but have a box of tissue close at hand.
“Redeeming Love” can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.