Francine Rivers was prompted to write Redeeming Love (Multnomah, 1997) after studying the book of Hosea where God tells Hosea to take Gomer, the prostitute as his wife. From this idea Francine has created a story set in the gold rush days of California in the early 1850’s.

The story begins with a little girl, born as a result of her father’s affair with another woman. Her mother is reduced to poverty and dies as a result of neglect. The little girl is sold into prostitution at the age of 8 and named Angel. The reader’s heart is drawn to this little girl and her tragic situation. Then we are introduced to Michael Hosea, a committed Christian, hard work farmer and a solid citizen. He is handsome, kind and likeable. So when these two begin a relationship in 1850, our heart goes out to both of them, and yet they are worlds apart. Through it all, God is never far away working behind the scenes to bring about healing to Angel’s deep pain and emotional trauma.

This is a powerful story and cleverly written. The depth of God’s love is astounding and Rivers brings us face to face with a God who will not let us go no matter what we do to push Him away. It amazes me after being a Christian for decades that I can read a book like this and have my perception of God enhanced, and yet that is what happened. This book has changed me and made me appreciate God’s love afresh.