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Monday, August 12, 2013

Redeeming Love

Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith.  First published by Bantam Books, and then re-released by Multnomah Publishers in the mid- 1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction and continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association’s top-selling titles; it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade. 
Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published more than 20 novels with Christian themes - all bestsellers- and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe.  Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous awards including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent.  In 1997, after winning her third RITA award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. In 2007, the feature-length film version of her novel The Last Sin Eater was released in theaters by Fox Faith. In March 2010, Francine officially became a New York Timesbestselling author, when Her Mother’s Hope debuted at #12 on the hardcover fiction bestsellers lists. The sequel, Her Daughter’s Dream, debuted at #12 on the same list just 6 months later, in September, 2010.  Francine’s novels have been translated into over twenty different languages and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa.
Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their five grandchildren.  She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.
*Biographical information taken from the author's website found at

Can God’s Love Save Anyone? 
California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.  Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael Hosea obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does…the One who will never let her go.  A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.

My Thoughts:
This book is truly a classic!  I'm not sure there is another work of fiction that would be more important for anyone to read than this one.  Written as Rivers' own statement of faith, this re-telling of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer is her finest offering to date.  Rivers has done an exceptional job of shining a light on God's ministry of reconciliation and redemption.  The characters have a depth to them that I've not read in other work of fiction by any other author.  The plot is carefully woven and is the gospel story...clear and brilliantly told.  There are not many fiction titles I read more than once...this one has been and will be read multiple times.  The story of God's amazing grace and mercy never gets old and is a story with eternal significance.  Redeeming Love tells that story and has a prominent place on my keeper shelf for as long as I have the sight and ability to read.
*The 20th Anniversary edition has a six-part reading group guide.  This book would be an excellent and highly recommended choice for your next book club selection or as use for a study of the biblical book of Hosea.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review as part of their Blogging for Books program.



jodi said...

I loved, loved, LOVED "Redeeming Love"! I also fell in love with her books called "The Mark of the Lion" series. Wow... they are phenomenal!