Redeeming Love is the greatest Christian fiction novel I have ever read (many spoilers ahead). It is Francine River’s testimony told through her characters. It is the only book that I have ever read that describes God’s unconditional love for us with such depth and truth. Rivers, as usual, delves straight into the very heart of the story, exposing the raw and gritty elements for all to see, and therefore gives an excellent example of the depth of God’s forgiveness. Redeeming Love deals with subjects such as sin, prostitution, violation, bitterness, anger, hurt, forgiveness, God’s redeeming, unconditional love, the Biblical definition of marriage, the Biblical definition of sex, friendships, healing, and peace. The opening chapters introduce the reader to the main character, a young girl named Sarah. Sarah is the product of an affair between her mother and a married man. Her biological father wishes that she had never been born, and her mother cares more about her own happiness than Sarah’s. For a time, Sarah and her mother are supported by her biological father, but eventually he casts them aside. They slowly sell all that they own in order to survive…until Sarah’s mother is forced to sell herself to willing buyers. She becomes ill and dies, leaving Sarah in the hands of a foolish drunk. He accidentally sells her into prostitution before he is murdered by Sarah’s new master. Sarah, only eight years of age, quickly learns that her new master desires her complete submission, and seeks to steal her innocence. She is his captive for quite some time. When she finally does escape, she accepts the offer to board a ship heading the opposite direction of her captor’s lair. While on board she learns that her passage comes at a cost. Sarah eventually ends up working for a local brothel, and there she comes to be known as the notorious prostitute named Angel. Angel continues to live a miserable life, until one day….a man named Michael Hosea walks into her room. He is not like all the other men who walk through her doors, for all he desires is a conversation. He tries to convince her to marry him and gain a better life. She is afraid to accept for a time, and initially refuses his offer. After a nearly fatal beating by her ‘bodyguard’, she accepts Michael’s offer and leaves with him. Michael proves to be a caring and loving husband, nursing her back to health and seeking to draw her out of her shell. Angel resists his love for the longest time, and at first only desires to escape her marriage. Michael keeps bringing her back and reaffirming his love for her. He calls her Amanda instead of Angel, and teaches her to cook and farm their land. She betrays his love by escaping once again with his brother, Paul. However, Michael brings her back again, and tries his hardest to teach her about God’s love. She decides to stay for a while, and eventually becomes friends with their new neighbors. However, the time will come when she will have to make a final decision regarding her beliefs about God, love, and life. What will she decide? To answer this question, read the book!;) This novel would make a landmark Christian epic, and in the right hands, could change the culture. I am certain that if someone decided to bring this book to the big screen, and did their absolute best to remain true to the spirit of the novel; then this would be my favorite Christian film.
Wish List rating: 10 out of 10 points