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review 2017-02-18 08:21
Review: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

Quick review for a progressive read. I read this over the course of a week, and it feels like I finished a marathon (in a good way). "Redeeming Love" came as a recommended read to me and it's my first experience reading Francine Rivers. If there's something to be said about her writing, Rives really knows her characters, conflicts, and has a way of weaving the narrative to make the most of the emotional gravity contained in the story.

This is a romantic retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, set in the year of 1850 during the American Gold Rush. The story starts out showcasing the experiences of Sarah, a girl sold into sexual slavery at a very young age, ultimately being renamed "Angel" by those who exert control over her. She grows up leading a numbed life as a prostitute. While she has those she calls friends, her heart is closed, and she doesn't have a single male figure in her life that she trusts or respects given what happens to her mother and the way other people have treated her personally.

Michael (Hosea) is a farmer who falls in love with Angel as he's conducting business in the city and sees her passing by (by a guard/handler no less). While their initial encounters are tense, Hosea struggles to try to get to know Angel by buying her time with the wages he earns. He doesn't use the time for any intimacy, but rather talks to try to get to know her and break down her defenses and distrust. He ultimately rescues her by making her his wife and taking out of the abusive residence she's in. Despite his promises of love and seeing her for the person she is rather than her horrible experiences, Angel still doesn't trust him and thinks he'll end up hurting her. She flees from him many times, thinking she won't be able to escape the pain of her past and subjecting herself to what she believes she deserves. Ultimately it's a story of redemption and acknowledgement as Angel and Hosea's relationship progresses, not just between each other, but with the people they come to know - and the challenges they face in their communications and environment around them.

I really appreciated the entire cast of characters in this book - they were very well drawn and vivid. While Sarah/Angel/Amanda appears to be an insufferable character due to the way she treats many of the people in this novel, it was hard for me not to rally behind her because I understood her grief, I understood her pain and how twisted it made her perceptions and relationships. It was difficult not to get emotional for what she endures and how she lashes out at the people around her when they try to help her with the best intentions. Her vulnerabilities show in places where she's challenged and doesn't know how to reconcile them, giving her due dimension. The joy for me was watching her grow as a person through the thick of it all. I liked Hosea as well, though he also had his share of stubborn streaks and flaws through the course of the narrative. The side characters in the novel were easy to follow and identify with as well. It's a compulsively readable title that gives due investment and tribute to the narrative and matters it chooses to mirror. If there were one thing that slowed the experience down for me, it'd probably be the fact that the self-references of the narrative to the characters in the Bible probably weren't needed, because it was already clear in the retelling that Hosea's character was modeled after...Hosea. It seemed a little meta to have Hosea talk about Hosea as referenced in the Bible. (He's named after the character, for goodness sake. At first I was like "Maybe this was done just to make it clear that this was rooted from a Biblical story", but you kind of get that in the context of the narrative itself. )

It was one of the strongest Christian fiction titles I've read to date, though. It doesn't feel too overbearing (certain parts of the narrative drag their heels, but it was more towards the end than the beginning). I took the better part of a week reading this just to take in the writing and the narrative for what it was worth, and I would honestly revisit the story and more of Rivers' writing given the opportunity.

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

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review 2015-01-26 01:07
Review | Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

I’m not into reading romance novels, and this is, to my memory, the first I’ve ever read. The only reason I read it was because it was recommended to me. To my surprise, I actually quite enjoyed this book. There were some details I didn't favor, but overall it was a beautiful, brutally honest story of redemption.


Redeeming Love is a retelling of the book of Hosea, and follows a prostitute as she marries (out of no other choice, really) a farmer named Michael Hosea. She keeps running away from him, and he keeps fighting for her back, but in the end they both have to let go in order to heal. One thing to note, this book is not for sensitive audiences. It’s not a gushy romance story, it’s a story that deals with issues like rape and betrayal and pain. But I like books that are real, books that touch on horrible things, because that’s just reality and sometimes reality sucks. I don't like it when books just gloss over or candy coat things, so the honesty was appreciated. 


Now, into my nitpicking. First thing—I don't like the viewpoint. I’m all down for having multiple povs, but not with every other paragraph or even sentence at times. One minute I’m in Angels head, the next I’m in Michaels, and there’s not even a proper break for it. I mean, sometimes there was, and sometimes there wasn't. That was annoying at times. I know limited omniscient viewpoint is a thing, but apparently it's not my thing. 


I’m also not personally a big fan on the whole God speaking and then the dark voice speaking. Then again, I don’t really like inner dialogue in general as I rarely find it done well. But as the book went on I got use to the voices and it just became apart of how the story was told. They weren't exactly intrusive, and I appreciate that it wasn’t ALL the time. So I’m kind of eh on how I feel about it.


Overall, I still really enjoyed this book. And this is coming from someone who is not a fan of the romance genre.

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review 2014-12-23 00:00
Redeeming Love
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers Just...let me catch my breath! An emotional, wild ride! My all time favorite book! Amazingly told story with lovable characters, realistic events, and heart pounding fast paced action! Five stars and two thumbs up!!! I first read this at the library, and as soon as I finished, i knew I had to buy it!

Although this is a modern, paraphrasing of the Bible story of Hosea, it does use a lot of 'extras' so if you ware expecting it to be the same, you might want to skip this one. Like movies, there is a lot in the book that doesn't happen in the Bible. It's a work of fiction, and should be read as such.

Despite that, I loved it, and am so glad my friends recommended I read it! I'm not a big fan of romance, never was, so I had my doubts going in. I was shocked, that me, the girl who didn't date could find myself relating, on a profound level with this prostitute who lived a life I could never imagine! I loved how both sin and redemption were handled, how God's grace was truly sufficient and no wound was beyond His power to heal! This is the God I know, and although this is a work of fiction, it reminded me of why God is God, and that nothing I can do will ever change that! And thank God for that!
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review 2014-05-01 00:00
Redeeming Love
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers A very powerful and memorable book. Usually the one to avoid a heavily religious context, I was ambivalent about it, but it turned out to be a remarkable read, capable of teaching us wisdom without too much preaching. The stories I appreciate most are the ones with the lesson, and that's why I truly think this book is worth reading at least once in a lifetime. The characters are very well presented, the writing is great and the plot is compelling. I admired Michael, his patience, devotion and his forgiving heart. He is everything a man should be and more. Perhaps that's why I felt slightly bereft at the end, having wished for so long to see him finally happy and rejoice after all his sufferings. But we were given a very brief glimpse of the final scene instead and an epilogue that made me more sad than happy. Nevertheless, everything worked out as the author had planned and the rest was left to our rich imagination.

5 very inspiring stars.
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review 2013-12-27 00:00
Redeeming Love
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers Una bazofia machista y asquerosamente ridícula , además de aburrida y ofensiva para las mujeres . Un asco . Leí la mitad entera y después fui salteando para ver si el mensaje inicial cambiaba .. no fue así , claro esta .

No suelo ser tan cruda con los libros ; no me gusta insultar a menos que la novela en cuestión no merezca un mínimo respeto , y este es el caso . Ni la autora ni su creación merecen respeto , esta historia no hace mas que reforzar las patrañas misóginas de la bilbia -lo peor de lo peor de las creencias (si es q hay algo bueno , con todo respeto) - y el mito de que las mujeres no pueden ser sexuales mas que dentro del matrimonio .... entre muuuuuuchas boludeces del estilo .

Una perdida de tiempo . Y si son ateos como yo , les va a dar mas vergüenza ajena y risa que ternura .
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