Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was first published twenty years ago and has been recently re-released. If you have NOT read this one (or, if like me, you read it years ago) you need to read this story which is based on the story of Gomer and Hosea. It is California gold country in the uncivilized 1850s. Prostitute Angel knows nothing of love, except that her mother's trust in and spoken love for a married man, lead to the dark days of Angel's childhood. Her darkest memory was her father's words that she never should have been born. Then years later when Angel's mother dies destitute, her young daughter is delivered to Duke, supposedly for an adoption. But soon it is clear that she is trapped in the hellish world of a powerful man who keeps his pedophile life hidden. Years pass for Angel, and despite attempts to escape, she never can leaves the world of prostitution behind. Her beauty and aloofness makes her the center of attention at the Duchess's brothel.
Then one day farmer Michael Hosea comes to town, not to visit the shabby brothel rooms, but to get supplies for his struggling farm. When he sees Angel and her body guard walk by, a voice speaks to him - he should marry this woman. Michael feels he has received directions from God, but still he rebels. Why would he want this woman? The push to meet her and rescue her will not go away, and in the end, Michael obeys.
This is a book about redeeming love as demonstrated through Michael's choices, but like so many of God's children Angel can not leave behind her past, cannot accept forgiveness, or a fresh start. Over one million copies of this book have been sold. I received a copy from Blogging for Books for my honest review. Like Rivers' series Marta's Legacy, this book is Christian fiction at its best -- not preachy, packed with a powerful message, and guaranteed to soften your heart.