Once again I have chosen a book to read that has been lingering on my shelf for quite some time. It wasn’t until I read the author’s note, though, that I realized that this novel was Francine Rivers’ first as a Christian fiction writer. In her note, Francine shares intimate details of her journey from writing secular romantic fiction to finding Christ and allowing Him to transform her as a writer. She gives God full credit for everything in Redeeming Love. Francine says she has written the book for all those who find themselves in bondage by the so called freedom offered by the world. The message is one of God’s unconditional love.
While based on the story of Hosea and Gomer, the story is set in California in the mid 1800s. The gold rush is in full swing, as are those who prey on the hopes and dreams of others. Angel, a beautiful young lady who was abused from a young age, expects little from life, and does her best to keep hope from rising in her soul, certain that it will fail her, leaving her to sink further into the depths that have her within their grasp. Michael Hosea is a farmer who treasures his relationship with God, and accepts God’s sovereignty in his life, even when the logic of God’s commands escapes him. Together Angel and Michael’s lives paint a picture of humanity’s struggle to accept God’s grace, to believe in its possibility and its truth. Their lives also clearly demonstrate that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Longer than many novels on booksellers’ shelves today, Redeeming Love is a book to be savored, even though one is apt to not want to set it aside to take up life’s chores. I would anticipate that most who choose to read it will find God dealing with them in many ways, and that they will emerge from between its covers with a greater understanding of His love and His mercy, and hopefully an improved ability to extend mercy and love to others.
Thank you, Francine, for opening yourself to God’s work in your life, and for using your gifts and talents in service of His people.