March got away from me and I missed my book report, but am happy to bring you April’s book: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
The first time I remember hearing about it was back in my BLC small group – so 2006/7 ish maybe? Several friends suggested I read it. I went to Kenya and one of the girls was reading it. I know myself well enough to know that if everyone else likes something, I will question it. So I never read it – or wanted to.
And then the book crept back into conversations in August of last year. So, I asked around for a copy to read and my friend, Jill had an extra copy that she gave me. (It smells of her apartment and reminds me of her everytime I open it.) The book sat in a stack of other books I wanted to read in the corner of my room. For whatever reason, I brought it with me to Uganda, still a little reluctant about the story.
I started it on a Thursday night. And finished it Saturday morning. I could NOT put it down. And when I got to the end, I had those hysterical, embarrassing tears that you don’t want anyone to see you cry.
It’s a love story set in the late 1800s, based on the book of Hosea. The words jump off the page and the characters are brought to life – dancing, stumbling, seeking God. And you see a woman who doesn’t feel worthy of love because of her mistakes. And a man who tells her those mistakes aren’t who she is.
Each chapter begins with a note, or verse that goes along with the chapter: “The prince of darkness is a gentleman” by William Shakespeare, or this one in Romans:
After finishing the story, I couldn’t help but flip to Hosea in the bible and read through again the story of God’s powerful love for sinful people. And just like the incident with the lion – reading the words takes on new meaning for me now. Not only the unfailing love of God when I am wayward, but also for Hosea’s obedience to God in doing something that would bring him pain. Which, seems to be a common theme for me this year.
I think this book would be a good read for anyone, but just understand that bible verses are woven into the story. You don’t have to read into it as much as I did. And to be fair, halfway through the story, the main female character’s name changes to Amanda – so I was probably going to internalize the words anyways. If your name isn’t Amanda, you may not have this problem. 😀
Got any books you would suggest as a good read? Want to borrow this book? Let me know!