I love reading, and I’ve been on a bit of a reading spree lately while Pablo works on his online class in the evenings. After not finishing even one book all fall and winter, I’ve read eleven in just the last month. It’s been so fun!
Anyway, I was making a list on goodreads.com (which is the best website ever, but that’s a topic for another day!) of books to read and I came across Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’d read excerpts from the book several years ago but had never read the whole thing. It’s a pretty popular book in the genre of Christian fiction/romance so I decided I should go ahead and read it to see what the big deal is.
The basic idea of the story is that is is a modern retelling of sorts of the Biblical character Hosea and the prostitute whom God tells him to marry.
Obviously, some of the subject matter is pretty heavy stuff (the story is about a prostitute after all) but I felt like Francine Rivers handled the tough topics really well without delving into more detail than necessary. While I would not recommend the book to young readers I think it is appropriate for older, mature readers.
With that being said, there were a lot of things that I didn’t particularly care for in the novel. The style of writing wasn’t necessarily my favorite and I felt like the author tried to draw parallels with the Biblical account that didn’t quite fit with the modern retelling. For instance, I didn’t like how she had God speak directly to Hosea, but of course that did happen in the Biblical account. Also, while I understood the whole symbolism of Hosea calling Angel by different names it still kind of weirded me out!
What probably frustrated me the most though was how Angel kept leaving Hosea. It got a really repetitive and emotionally exhausting to read and I wanted to shake her to make her wake up and realize how good she had it with Hosea!
But, as I finished the novel and thought back over it, the message of the book really stuck out to me. Yeah, it wasn’t my favorite novel and honestly parts of it weren’t that fun to read, but it made me think and it left me with this message:
I am like Angel.
I know God loves me! He has been SO faithful to me and I have seen Him do so much for me. But somehow I still have doubts, and I still mess up over and over and over. Like Angel, I often run to other things when I should be running back to God.
But even though I have neglected Him over and over, and again and again, God still hasn’t given up on me. Like Hosea, God searches for me and brings me back. He doesn’t get fed up with the repetitiveness of my leaving; He simply calls me back to Him again and again and again.
I’m thankful that I read Redeeming Love because it was a good and needed reminder of who I am, as well as who my God is.
Have you read Redeeming Love? If so, what did you think of it?