The first book I read for the 2016 reading challenge was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This book was suggested by my dearest friend, so fulfills number 6 on the challenge list.
The short summary of this book is that it’s a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea during the Gold Rush era in California.
If you’re familiar with the story of Gomer and Hosea, which I am, and if you assume that Rivers was faithful to the basics of the story, which she was, you pretty much know what’s going to happen from the beginning.
My review is pretty simple. As an allegory for the love given from Christ to the church, this is a pretty great book, albeit kind of weird and cheesy at times. As a romance novel, it does all the things romance novels are intended to do, so I found it pretty awful. Ha! The main male character is totally unrealistic, which makes sense as a stand in for Christ, but problematic to me when thought of as a potential “real” person. Call me a cynical realist, but I’m not a fan of characters like Michael Hosea. Yeah yeah escapist literature and all that, I get it. I also think that some of the really unrealistic expectations women have for men come from books and characters like this. I know I’m raining on some parades here. Almost everyone I know who read the book loves it. As a friend pointed out, I’m just not really into “frilly” books.
All of that said, I will confess that I shed a tear at the redemption and pursuit that is described here, but it was in light of the redemption I have received from Christ and the way that He pursues me time and time again.