I just finished reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, which is a retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea in the setting of the 1850s California gold rush. Angel's heart has been hardened by years of betrayal and hatred, but Michael Hosea obeys God's call to marry this bitter prostitute and love her unconditionally. Slowly, he begins to win her heart, but her own fear and shame continually drive her away. In the end, her heart must be healed by the One who loves her even more than Michael.
This novel was fantastic! It was so thought-provoking and powerfully written. The book of Hosea is somewhat difficult to grasp and I studied it recently, which is why I chose this novel. It is easy to judge Gomer and focus on her infidelities, but this book really made me look deeper. Why was she so desperate? What brought her to prostitution in the first place? It isn't really that simple, and yet how often do we judge other people in the same way without knowing their background?
As Angel struggles to resist Michael's love, I could see how she also resisted God's love. All Micheal wanted to do was save her and love her and have her love him in return, yet she fought him all along the way. She doesn't understand how love can be so freely given to someone so undeserving, and yet, that is what God offers to each of us, and while we may not all be prostitutes, we are all sinners.
(I will warn prospective readers that there was a lot of mature content because of Angel's role as a prostitute and also how that aspect tied into her relationship with Michael, but it was not overly descriptive.)
This book definitely made me think as I was reading and it was very enlightening. It had suspense, romance, and a strong spiritual message. I would highly recommend it for mature readers.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.