I can't believe I finished my first book in the first week of Katrina's Fall Into Reading challenge! Woo-hoo! LOL However, this book wasn't even on my list. I hit "publish" last Friday on my FIR post, went to check the mailbox, and there it was from paperbackswap.com! Can I tell you how much I *LOVE* getting books for free!?
Anyway, "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers was suggested to me by some of the ladies in my Bible study. I hadn't heard of Rivers before. It appears everyone but me has read this book before. LOL Normally, I'm not a big fan of Christian fiction, particularly historical fiction, and the Old Testament re-telling nearly scared me off! LOL But, I enjoyed "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant so I gave it a whirl.
And, Francine Rivers proved it was worth it.
"Redeeming Love" is a bit of a "doorstop book" at over a couple hundred pages but, once I started, I couldn't put it down. I read it in 3 days.
The characters were real, believable, and deep. The interactions between the characters were of equal quality. The restoration, change, and conversion of Angel/Amanda heart-breaking and bittersweet. The strength, patience, devotedness, and faith of Michael has put him at the top of my "dreamy guys of literature" list. :)
As a word of warning, there are serious issues discussed here: incest, rape, prostitution, infidelity, martial relations, etc. so even the author suggests a book-equivalent of a PG rating. But, all are handled respectfully and appropriately.
To be honest, I was very impressed by Rivers' ability to balance the "raunch" of Angel's former life as well as her coming-to-Christ faith issues. This didn't feel overly preachy or dripping with attempts to keep shoving more Biblical references in the narrative. It was that powerful, faith-filled, everyday walk that we all wish for. And, the discussions of sex didn't pull any punches either.
I would highly recommend this book and, now that I have my own copy, I plan on reading it again...maybe once the challenge is over though. :)