Redeeming Love - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Multnomah; Paperback with Study Guide edition
  • Published : 09 May 1997
  • Pages : 479
  • ISBN-10 : 1590525132
  • ISBN-13 : 9781590525135
  • Language : English

Redeeming Love

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • A story of love that won't let go-no matter what!

"A literary masterpiece, reminding us that God's love is unconditional."-Debbie Macomber

California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. 

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father's heart in everything. Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does . . . the One who will never let her go. 

A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God's unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.

Includes a six-part reading group guide!

Editorial Reviews

"Redeeming Love is a literary masterpiece, reminding us that God's love is unconditional. I read it twenty years ago, and even now the story reverberates in my mind. I knew then this book would be a classic . . . and it is."-#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

"Writers like Rivers are why people buy Christian fiction."-Publishers Weekly

"A splendid piece of work exploring both physical love and a love of God. There is not one false note in this wonderful novel. . . . Very highly recommended."-Library Journal

"I first read Redeeming Love at a time when I wasn't sure whether God was calling me to write Christian fiction. Francine's story changed my life and touched my heart. At the end of the book, I dropped to my knees and promised God I would always write for him. Redeeming Love has a special way of infusing the great and indescribable love of God straight into the heart of the reader. It's a must read for anyone longing for the love of our Father."-Karen Kingsbury, New York Times bestselling author of Unlocked, the Bailey Flanigan series, and Coming Home

"Simply put, Redeeming Love is the most powerful work of fiction you will ever read. Steeped in Scripture and filled with grace, it is a masterpiece that moves beyond allegory to touch the reader at the deepest level where faith is born. Michael Hosea is the consummate hero; Angel, in one way or another, is every woman who has ever lived without love. You cannot read this book and not be changed."-New York Times bestselling author Liz Curtis Higgs

"My heart and soul were profoundly moved when I read this story twenty years ago, and time has not diminished the effect of this book. Redeeming Love deserves to be the classic it is. Stories that demonstrate the depth and perseverance of God's love only grow more precious with time."-New York Times bestselling author Angela Hunt

Readers Top Reviews

I couldn't put this book down and its the first book I have read over 4 days! It was a blessing to read although sad in parts the character of Michael Hosea shows the character of Jesus unrelenting , unceasing , always loving , always forgiving and showing grace and so much more. But Sarah also shows us what its like to battle but when we trust God we have a new found courage that takes us to places we never thought of going. The charcters came to life and we can learn in many ways from all of them. It was just such a beautiful storyline very well written and I have taken many things from it that will speak and help me in my own relationship with the Lord.
Dom WuAmySD
I rate this book a 5 out of 5 for reasons beyond the fact that is a very good novel. The title of my rating 'A Book for Your Life' was chosen because it is loosely modelled on the story of Hosea in the bible, but more so because it is directly modelled after the love that Christ has for us. I have read this book more than 10 times and every time I am forced to reflect on my life. Get this and know what true love is, and a good read as well!
LisaDom WuAmySD
I had just finished Francine Rivers the masterpiece and wanted to read another of her books, this was amazing! Set in the days of little house on the prairie, and after a tough beginning reading about Angels awful start in life (which at times was very uncomfortable to read), the book takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions as you learn about a God’s relentless search for us and His love. At times I wanted to cry for Angel and Michael as they went through their trials and scream ‘what are you doing!’ and towards the end I couldn’t put the book down as I wanted to see what would happen next. It is such a powerful picture of our walk with God and how He perseveres until we begin to fully trust Him and accept His love. A must read for Christians and non Christians alike.
RGLisaDom WuAmySD
If I'm not capture by the first page then the author has lost me.. I have never read or heard of Francine Rivers before, in fact read this book after reading Masterpiece and saw the comparison review to 'Redeeming Love'. While Masterpiece was good, I can understand why readers fell in love with Redeeming love. It's a beautiful love story with themes running through it from the Book of Hosea in the Bible. I confess, halfway i would have given it a 4.5 if I'm honest. There were times when it didn't show very well when Sarah's mother became a prostitute, it seems like after her lover and then herb parents rejected her she just ended up in prostitution. After being so descriptive with the character 's thoughts the author appears to jump from being a rejected mistress and daughter then at the docks with Sarah selling her body to keep them. However, the story picks back up momentum and is captivating how Sarah becomes Angel and is sold into prostitution and inherits her mother's brokenness and enters what appears to be a unbreakable cycle of learned behaviour of the soul. Then in the background and coming to the forefront of Angel's life is Michael Hosea. He falls in love with Angel right in the middle of her broken mess of life. I'm glad he wasn't a Mr Perfect in all his ways and that he was challenged by his own weaknesses and pride. His heartbreak when she keeps running away back to the only thing she knew and her betrayal. He keeps going after her and 'choosing ' to forgive her each time until the penny drops and he realises he has to give her up and let her choose him. I would recommend this book to beloved of non believer. True love is not shallow, it runs deep. It hurts and it cannot be destroyed. The theme of God's unconditional love is moving and humbling. The author capture d Angel 's self hate and if course hating and wanting nothing to do with God. Finally. I would be interested to see this out on a big screen but it would need a cast who could be true to its authenticity and not spare blushes. E.g. Like Passion of the Christ is probably the most authentic portrayal I've seen to what was true of that time. A beautiful and powerful message of real love 'no strings attached '.
Mrs. BRGLisaDom W
I've bought this book at least ten times over the years to give to friends. It is one of the most amazing examples of how God loves and pursues us .... and is willing to let us suffer consequences in order to 'save' us.... But it's not at all 'Christian-y,' so would be a great book to give to a non-Christian friend. This was one of Francine's first Christian books (I knew her personally when I owned a Book Store near where she lived). Prior to her becoming a Christian she was continually a national best-seller in the secular markets. She is am amazing writer, a gripping storyteller, and a truly wonderful woman. I can't recommend her books enough. They are entertaining, can't-put-down stories that will make you think. While it may seem more for the female market, many of my male friends have told me it has helped them better understand how to love their wives. and one of my female friends said it saved her marriage when she realized that her husband's kindness to her, even under difficult situations, was not wimpy-ness, but truley a sacrificial love. One of my Favorites. BUY IT!!

Short Excerpt Teaser


New England, 1835

Alex Stafford was just like Mama said. He was tall and dark, and Sarah had never seen anyone so beautiful. Even dressed in dusty riding clothes, his hair damp with perspiration, he was like the princes in the stories Mama read. Sarah's heart beat with wild joy and pride. None of the other fathers she saw at Mass compared to him.

He looked at her with his dark eyes, and her heart sang. She was wearing her best blue frock and white pinafore, and Mama had braided her hair with pink and blue ribbons. Did Papa like the way she looked? Mama said blue was his favorite color, but why didn't he smile? Was she fidgeting? Mama said to stand straight and still and act like a lady. She said he would like that. But he didn't look pleased at all.

"Isn't she beautiful, Alex?" Mama said. Her voice sounded strange...tight, like she was choking. "Isn't she the most beautiful little girl you've ever seen?"

Sarah watched Papa's dark eyes frown. He didn't look happy. He looked angry. Like Mama looked sometimes when Sarah talked too much or asked too many questions.

"Just a few minutes," Mama said quickly. Too quickly. Was she afraid? But why? "That's all I'm asking, Alex. Please. It would mean so much to her." Alex Stafford stared down at Sarah. His mouth was pressed tight, and he studied her silently. Sarah stood as still as she could. She'd stared at herself in the mirror so long this morning, she knew what he would see. She had her father's chin and nose, and her mother's blonde hair and fair skin. Her eyes were like her mother's, too, although they were even more blue. Sarah wanted Papa to think she was pretty, and she gazed up at him hopefully. But the look in his eyes was not a nice one.

"Did you pick blue on purpose, Mae?" Papa's words startled Sarah. They were cold and angry. "Because it brings out the color of her eyes?"

Sarah couldn't help it, she glanced at her mother-and her heart fell. Mama's face was filled with hurt.

Alex glanced toward the foyer. "Cleo!"

"She's not here," Mama said quietly, keeping her head high. "I gave her the day off."

Papa's eyes seemed to get even darker. "Did you? Well, that leaves you in a fix, doesn't it, darling?"

Mama stiffened, then bit her lip and glanced down at Sarah. What was wrong? Sarah wondered sadly. Wasn't Papa happy to see her? She had been so excited that she was actually going to be with him at last, even for a little while....

"What would you have me do?" Mama's words were directed at Papa, so Sarah stayed silent, still hoping.

"Send her away. She knows how to find Cleo, I would imagine."

Pink spots appeared on Mama's cheeks. "Meaning what, Alex? That I entertain others in your absence?"

Sarah's smile fell in confusion. They spoke so coldly to one another. Neither looked at her. Had they forgotten she was there? What was wrong? Mama was distraught. Why was Papa so angry about Cleo not being home?

Chewing her lip, Sarah looked between them. Stepping closer, she tugged on her father's coat.


"Don't call me that."

She blinked, frightened and confused by his manner. He was her papa.

Mama said so. He even brought her presents every time he came. Mama gave them to her. Maybe he was angry that she had never thanked him. "I want to thank you for the presents you-"

"Hush, Sarah," her mother said quickly. "Not now, darling."

Papa flashed Mama a thunderous look. "Let her speak. It's what you wanted, isn't it? Why are you shushing her now, Mae?"

Mama stepped closer and put her hand on Sarah's shoulder. Sarah could feel Mama's fingers trembling, but Papa bent toward her now, smiling. "What presents?" he said.

He was so handsome, just like Mama said. She was proud to have a father like him. "Tell me, little one."

"I always like the candies you bring me," Sarah said, feeling warm and proud beneath his attention. "They are very nice. But best of everything, I love the crystal swan."

She smiled again, glowing with joy that Papa listened to her so carefully. He even smiled, though Sarah wasn't sure she liked his smile. It was small and tight.

"Indeed," he said and straightened. He looked at Mama. "I'm so pleased to know how much my gifts mean."

Sarah looked up at her father, thrilled at his approval. "I put it on my windowsill. The sun shines through it and makes colors dance on the wall. Would you like to come and see?" She took his hand. When he jerked away, she blinked, hurt, not understanding.

Mama bit her lip and reached out a hand toward Papa, then stopped suddenly. She looked afraid again. Sarah looked from one parent to the other, struggling to understand. What had ...