This month my book club is reading Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. Let me just say upfront that this is not a book I would have chosen to read on my own. I’ve seen it before (I even bought a copy for my mother-in-law at a used book store) but had no desire to read it.
So I go online to order the book from the library, and guess what? There’s a huge line for this book! Ok, not huge, but seeing as this is not a new book and the library has 8 copies, how is it possible that I am #5 on the waiting list?! To be on the safe side, I reserved a copy of the audio book too.
After almost 2 weeks, the audio book was available, but not the actual book. After another 10 days or so, the book came in. By that time I was into the CDs so I gave the book to my sister to read (she’s in the book club too).
Since this isn’t a book I expect most of you to be familiar with, I’ll give you a quick plot summary. It’s the mid-1800s in California – gold rush time. Michael Hosea is a devout Christian man living on a farm. Angel is a high-class whore in town. Michael is looking for a wife and believes that God is telling him to marry Angel. Angel is looking for a way out of the whorehouse and agrees to marry him. The rest of the story is how she repeatedly leaves him and he repeatedly brings her back, and how they both change over time.
If this sounds familiar to you, you know your Old Testament pretty well. Redeeming Love is a retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea and his wife, Gomer (I’m so glad Rivers didn’t keep THAT name!). From what I recall of the Biblical story, the book stays very close to the actual events in the Bible; I plan to reread the Book of Hosea before book club to be sure.
What did I think about the book itself? It was ok. I’m not really a fan of this time period, and frankly, I couldn’t really get into the story. Maybe it’s because I knew what was going to happen? I don’t know really. It's a great retelling of an obscure Biblical story that is much more readable than the ACTUAL story - and that's a wonderful thing. But as a book I'd read just for fun, I can't say that it was that great. I'm hoping that the discussion at Book Club in a few weeks will give me a deeper appreciation for this book.
Since I did the audio version, I have to say something about the narrator here. At first I didn’t like her voice – it was just a bit “off” to me. But after a while I realized her voice suits the book very well; she has sort of a twang that is perfect for the setting of the book.
The end of the audio book I listened to had an interview with the author. I learned that Rivers was a successful Romance novelist before becoming a Christian. After her conversion she pulled the copyrights for all her books and will not allow them to be reprinted. For three years she did not write anything. Redeeming Love is her first foray into Christian fiction. Is it just me or does bonus material like this always seem to add something to your understanding of a book?
Have you reviewed this one? I’d love to post your link here: