In her 1991 inspirational debut, Francine Rivers broke all the rules. REDEEMING LOVE is an extraordinary (sometimes disturbing) romance loosely based on the biblical story of the prophet Hosea, whom God asks to redeem a prostitute by showing unconditional love.

Orphaned at age eight, Sarah is sold to a prominent citizen with a penchant for little girls. By the time shes able to escape, Sarah (now called Angel) knows nothing but a life of prostitution. She arrives in California, is hired by a notorious madam, and her favors are auctioned off nightly.

Her ethereal beauty catches farmer Michael Hoseas eye, but it is Gods words that compel Michael to spend all his money for a few moments with Angel. Michaels mission is to convince Angel to leave her past behind and to start anew. But only after Angel discovers her own self-worth and the redeeming love of God can she truly be happy and accept love.

Some readers may be disturbed by the sexual abuse (not detailed in the book) that Sarah experiences as a child, but there is little doubt that Ms. Rivers has written a novel that is a powerful reaffirmation of faith. Even to agnostics or atheists, who may not see it as a religious experience, Redeeming Love will appear to be a masterful, unique writing achievement. This is a thought-provoking novel that you will not easily forget. (Sep., 464 pp., $14.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin