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Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love

4.8 1377
by Francine Rivers

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Can God's Love Save Anyone?

Best-selling author Francine Rivers skillfully retells the biblical love story of Gomer and Hosea in a tale set against the exciting backdrop of the California Gold Rush. The heroine, Angel, is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child. Michael Hosea is a godly man sent into Angel's life to draw her into the


Can God's Love Save Anyone?

Best-selling author Francine Rivers skillfully retells the biblical love story of Gomer and Hosea in a tale set against the exciting backdrop of the California Gold Rush. The heroine, Angel, is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child. Michael Hosea is a godly man sent into Angel's life to draw her into the Savior's redeeming love. This remarkable novel has sold over a million copies globally and has been a fixture on the CBA bestsellers list for nearly a decade. A six-part reading guide, suitable for individual use or group discussion, is included in this best-selling novel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The truth that ran through that story [Redeeming Love] absolutely took me to my knees. And I was a changed person when I finished reading that book. "
- Amy Grant, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter

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

"Simply put, Redeeming Love is the most powerful work of fiction you will ever read."
- Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Thorn in My Heart

"The timeless biblical themes...are beautifully portrayed and brought to life through her unforgettable characters."
- Stephen Arterburn, best-selling author of The Everyman Series

"My heart and soul were profoundly shaken as I realized anew the lessons portrayed through the stories of Hosea and Gomer, Michael and Angel. This may be the single most moving book you will read this year - or in your lifetime."
- Angela Hunt, author of Magdalene

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
20th Anniversary Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

But strength alone, though of the Muses born,
Is like a fallen angel: trees uptorn,
Darkness, and worms, and shrouds, and sepulchers
Delight it; for it feeds upon the burrs
And thorns of life; forgetting the great end
Of poesy, that it should be a friend
To soothe the cares, and lift the thoughts of man.


California, 1850

Angel pushed the canvas flap back just enough to look out at the mud street. She shivered in the cold afternoon air, that carried with it the stench of disenchantment.

    Pair-a-Dice lay in the Mother Lode of California. It was the worst place she could have imagined, a shanty town of golden dreams built out of rotting sails from abandoned ships; a camp inhabited by outcasts and aristocrats, the displaced and dispossessed, the once-pampered and now-profane. Canvas-roofed bars and gambling houses lined mean streets ruled by unmasked depravity and greed, loneliness and grand illusions. Pair-a-Dice was wild jubilation. It wed black despair with fear and the foul taste of failure.

    Smiling cynically, Angel saw on one corner a man preaching salvation while on the other his brother, hat in hand, fleeced the godforsaken. Everywhere she looked, there were desperate men, exiled from home and family, seeking escape from the purgatory forged by their own decaying hopes for a future.

    These same fools called her a Cyprian and sought solace where they were most assured of finding none—from her. They drew lots for her favors, fourounces of gold, payable in advance to the Duchess, madam of the Palace, the tent brothel where she lived. Any comer could have Angel for one half hour. Her own meager percentage would be kept under lock and key and guarded by a woman-hating giant named Magowan. As for the rest—those sad unfortunates who lacked the price to sample her talents—they stood knee-deep in a sea of mud called Main Street, waiting for a chance glimpse of "the Angel." And she lived a year in a month in this place that was unfit for anything but business. When would it end? How had all her desperate plans brought her here, to this horrible place of dirt and broken dreams?

    "No more right now," the Duchess was saying, ushering several men away. "I know you've been waiting, but Angel's tired, and you want her best, don't you?" Men complained and threatened, pleaded and bargained, but the Duchess knew when Angel had reached the limit of her endurance. "She needs a rest. Come back this evening. Drinks on the house."

    Relieved that they were gone, Angel let go of the tent flap and went back to lie on the rumpled bed. She stared bleakly at the canvas ceiling. The Duchess had announced this morning at breakfast that the new building was almost finished and the girls would be moving in tomorrow. Angel was ready to have four walls around her again. At least then the cold night wind would not blow in on her through splits in the rotting sailcloth. She hadn't thought how much four walls meant to her when she paid passage on a barkentine destined for California. Then, all she had been thinking was escape. All she had seen was her chance for freedom. The mirage had dissolved soon enough when she reached the gangplank and learned she was one of three women aboard a ship with 120 vigorous young men, all of whom had nothing on their minds but adventure. The two hard-eyed prostitutes set to work right away, but Angel had tried to stay in her cabin. Within a fortnight, she saw clearly that she had one simple choice: go back to being a prostitute or be raped. What did it really matter anyway? What else did she know? She might as well line her pockets with gold like the others. Maybe then, just maybe, with enough money she could buy freedom.

    She survived the rough seas, the foul-tasting lobscouse and hushama-grundy, the cramped quarters, and lack of dignity and decency in the hope that she would have enough money by the time she reached the shores of California to start a new life. Then, amid the excitement of docking, the final blow was struck.

    The two other prostitutes set upon her in her cabin. By the time she regained consciousness, they were ashore with all her money and every possession she owned. All that was left to her was the clothes on her back. What was worse, not even one sailor remained aboard to row her ashore.

    Beaten and numb with confusion, she sat huddled in the bow of the ship for two days before scavengers came. When they finished taking what they wanted from the deserted ship and her, they brought her to the dock. It was raining hard, and while they argued and divided their booty, she simply walked away.

    She wandered for several days, hiding her face and hair beneath a soiled blanket one of the men had given her. She was hungry; she was cold; and she was resigned. Freedom was a dream.

    She made her way by working Portsmouth Square until the Duchess, a woman well past her prime but possessed of a shrewd mind for business, found her and talked her into heading for the gold country.

    "I've got four other girls, a Frenchie from Paris, a Celestial Ah Toy sold me, and two girls who look like they came off an empty potato boat from Ireland. A little food will fatten 'em up. Ah, but now, you. First time I saw you, I thought there's a girl who can get rich with the right management. A girl with your beauty could make her fortune up there in the gold camps. Those young miners will take the gold out of the stream and fight each other to put it right in your hand."

    On an agreement that Angel would turn over eighty percent of her earnings, the Duchess promised to see that she was protected from bodily harm. "And I'll see you have the best clothing, food, and lodgings available."

    Angel found the irony laughable. She had fled from Duke and fallen into the hands of Duchess. Just her luck.

    For all her seeming benevolence, Duchess was a greedy tyrant. Angel knew she collected bribes to fix the lots, while not a speck of that gold dust found its way into the girls' pouches. The tips left for services well-rendered were divided according to the original agreement. Mai Ling, Ah Toy's Celestial slave girl, tried to hide her gold once, and Magowan—with his cruel smile and ham-sized hands—was sent in to "have a talk with her."

    Angel hated her life. She hated the Duchess. She hated Magowan. She hated her own wretched helplessness. Most of all she hated the men for their relentless quest for pleasure. She gave them her body but not a particle more. Maybe there wasn't any more. She didn't know. And that didn't seem to matter to any of the men. All they saw was her beauty, a flawless veil wrapped around a frozen heart, and they were enthralled. They looked into her angel eyes and were lost.

    She was not fooled by their endless declarations of love. They wanted her in the same way they wanted the gold in the streams. They lusted for her. They fought for the chance to be with her. They scrambled, grappled, gambled, and grabbed—and everything they had was spent without thought or consideration. They paid to become enslaved. She gave them what they thought was heaven and consigned them to hell.

    What did it matter? She had nothing left. She didn't care. An even stronger force than the hatred that feasted on her was the weariness that sucked her soul dry. At eighteen, she was tired of living and resigned to the fact that nothing would ever change. She wondered why she had even been born. For this, she supposed. Take it or leave it. God's truth. And the only way to leave it was to kill herself. Every time she faced that fact, every time she had the chance, her courage failed.

    Her only friend was a tired old harlot named Lucky, who was running to fat because of her thirst for brandy. Yet even Lucky knew nothing of where Angel had come from or been, or what had happened to make her the way she was. The other prostitutes thought of her as invulnerable. They all wondered about her, but they never asked questions. Angel made it clearly understood from the beginning that the past was sacred ground no one walked over. Except for Lucky, dumb-drunk Lucky for whom Angel held a fondness.

    Lucky spent her off time deep in her cups. "You gotta have plans, Angel. You gotta hope for something in this world."

    "Hope for what?"

    "You can't get by any other way."

    "I get by just fine."


    "I don't look back, and I don't look forward."

    "What about now? You gotta think about now, Angel."

    Angel smiled faintly and brushed her long, golden hair. "Now doesn't exist."

What People are Saying About This

Amy Grant
"The truth that ran through that story [Redeeming Love] absolutely took me to my knees. And I was a changed person when I finished reading that book."--(Amy Grant, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, quote sited from an interview with Ted Koeppel, ABC News)
Liz Curtis Higgs
"Simply put, Redeeming Love is the most powerful work of fiction you will ever read."--(Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Thorn in My Heart)
Stephen Arterburn
"The timeless biblical themes...are beautifully portrayed and brought to life through her unforgettable characters."--(Stephen Arterburn, best-selling author of The Everyman Series and founder of New Life Ministries)
Angela Hunt
"My heart and soul were profoundly shaken as I realized anew the lessons portrayed through the stories of Hosea and Gomer, Michael and Angel. This may be the single most moving book you will read this year - or in your lifetime."--(Angela Hunt, author of Magdalene)

Meet the Author

From 1976 to 1985, Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. This retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the Christian Booksellers Association's top-selling titles, and it has held a spot on the Christian bestsellers list for nearly a decade.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes--all bestsellers--and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have also been awarded or nominated for numerous awards, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. In 1997, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Francine's novels have been translated into over twenty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa.

Francine and her husband, Rick, live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their four grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesusfor all He has done and is doing in her life.

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Redeeming Love 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1377 reviews.
angeljennavieve More than 1 year ago
so I was looking for a love story, blah, I'm a romantic. I went to highest rated books on amazon. this has 777 5 star reviews so I read the overview of the book. it was obviously a christian love story and I was like, nah, God can't be in a romance book, it won't be good. so I kept looking for my newest read...and kept being pulled back to Redeeming Love. I gave in and bought the ebook for my nook. I do not exagerate when I say I was hypnotised by these characters, moved by Angels story and sobbed, not cried, for almost all of this book. I have never been so emotionally involved in a story in all my life and I am an AVID reader. How stupid of me to think that a Love story involving God would be too "clean" and boring. God is Love and he created man and woman to love in the most beautiful way. This story is so much more meaningful then a vampire/werewolf love story. There's purpose and meaning and morals and lessons all wrapped up in a powerful love story that leaves you fulfilled in a way you didn't know a book could leave you. this is now my favorite book of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a heart-wrenching, beautiful example of what God intended love between a husband and wife to be. Michael and Angel. Angel kept running away, feeling unworthy of love, only deserving the so-called love that the world showed her, which was empty and fake. Michael's character shows the reader true unconditional love and endless patience. This is a beautiful, heartwarming, touching story of love, sacrifice, great heart, and grace. There is no question in my mind that anyone who reads this will not be able to hold back the tears! A MUST READ FOR ALL!
Guest More than 1 year ago
God's love for us just pours out in this book. I found myself crying in wonder at how much God really does love us to take us back into His arms after every time we mess up. The book was perfect and it still stands as my favorite. Every single person on earth should read this book!
IrishLemonsickle More than 1 year ago
Loosely based from the Bible story of Hosea and his relationship with his prostitute wife - This story was such a page-turner from the very beginning. I cried COUNTLESS times by the time I was finished! The storyline is so developed and realistic, you almost feel as if you know the characters in the flesh. It's a thick book, but worth every minute of your time, no matter who you are! Some content is a bit mature for younger ages, so I would recommend ages 13 and up, at least. It's very romantic, heart-felt, and emotional to the max; includes great spiritual lessons, as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I¿ve ever read! I recommend this book to woman or teenage girl! When I was reading this book, I couldn¿t put it down I finished it within two days! It¿s a story based on the story of Hosea in the Bible. I read this book about a year ago and it just reminded me of God¿s love for me and everyone else. This book will make you laugh and cry. It¿s a very touching and deep novel. It starts out in the 1950¿s in California. A young girl who goes by the name of Angel was sold into prostitution at a young age by her mother. She grew up absolutely hating men. She thought that they were all the same and that they just wanted her body. Until God told Michael Hosea that this was the women that he marries, she had never experienced any kind of love and care. It¿s an amazing story that I could read over and over again and never get tired of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I pulled this book off of my grandmothers shelf when I was 13 years old. I am 27 now and i can still rememer reading it by the light of my makeup mirror......all night long. I was browsing through the bookstore 10 years later when I found that it had been re-released. Of course i read it again, and it was just as shocking,beautiful and impactful as it was in my teen years! God loves us so much and it is so unconditional. This book makes you ache to spend more time wrapped in His love
SaraO More than 1 year ago
It was awesome because of the romance, because of the inspiration, and because of its scope. This book isn’t in any way new. So my love of this book may not surprise many out there. It’s been beloved by readers since its original publishing date in the fall of 1991. But it’s classified as inspirational, and it’s no shocker that I prefer my romances slightly less strictly moral. And I’m also not a fan of a “preachy” voice in a book…No matter the subject matter being pushed. So, as someone who doesn’t read inspirational literature I can whole-heartedly say that I loved this book. This rendition of the story of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer was so accessible. Rivers set out to tell a tale of love and also of the struggle of people who try to play God themselves. And by “Playing God” I’m not talking about the people doing crazy movie-villain type things…or of Doctors making life changing calls. Instead it’s talking about that desire in all of us, especially women, to fix it all ourselves and not to give in to a higher will in our lives. One of my favorite meditations is “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans”. When I practice yoga I follow the intention “to be”. I try to focus on being wholly present in the moment. That’s what this novel asks of its character, to give up and enjoy the gifts we’re given, whether it be the simple beauty of fresh summer flowers or the awesome gift of love. It was so great to see this mission set forth in a pretty standard romance plot. What would a romance be without a character who thought themselves unworthy? Where would the payoff be if not for the redeeming quality of that love? That’s what pushes this story into the level of lifetime favorite for so many; the compound redeeming grace of both romantic and Godly love. The characters are so fully developed. They’re not just archetypes of a saint and a sinner. I loved Michael. He was such a strong good man. Also, seeing his thoughts kept him from being too much of a paragon. That we were privy to his anger and frustration helped. It made the process he was putting Angel through seem less demanding. Without it he would have been a Duke of another extreme. Angel’s history is laid out in a heartbreaking, but realistic fashion. When you think of the biblical prostitute Gomer, heck, when you think of any adult woman who chooses to sell herself it’s difficult not to look at that woman without prejudice. Not to think there must have been another way…another path. Thus, Angel’s childhood of hard knocks and forced prostitution helps contextualize her as a fallen dove who really seemed to have no other way. Only through the love of Michael and God does she begin to see another path. A few tidbits for those who’ve already read this one. I found Paul to be sooo annoying, wish he would have been slapped with the truth a little earlier or that Miriam had shared the reason Angel left. Also, totally cried when Jonathan Axe brought Angel out of the brothel. Cheered when she took the girls with her as well. Fist pump when they walked out the front door exposing Duke’s sick desire for little girls. And finally, I know it was true to biblical story but wish Angel wouldn’t have run away so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful book. This story made me go through every emotion. I was heartbroken for Angel's past, I was so distraught that I didn't want to pick up the book but did anyway, I fell in love with Michael and how I long for a godly husband one day, and was intregued by the storyline of a prostitue saved by God's grace. Overall, I was brought to tears as God worked everything out in His timing. The way Ms. Rivers portrayed God in Michael, and even from God's few lines as He spoke to Michael and Angel's hearts was beautiful and gave me a more intimate way to look at my Prince of Peace. It is a long read, but I always captured enough to keep going. A satisfying love story of what a little faith in God can amount to for His glory and to find a new purpose for living.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The publishers note made this book sound lifechanging but I was very skeptic, I mean really, it was just a book. After the first page I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down and now, two days after finishing, I still can't quit thinking about it. READ THIS BOOK! It is a beautifully told story of the redemption and love God has for us no matter where we've been or what we've done. I laughed outloud, and cried as well. This book will leave you feeling truly changed.
rather_be_reading More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by one of my cousins. She said it was her favorite book ever. When I started reading it, I thought she was crazy. However, I kept reading. And reading. And reading. I fell in love with it too. It is now one of my favorites too. I have lent my copy to all my friends and family (books are for sharing) and everyone has given it rave reviews. What a true testament of love and trusting in God.
Turtlelover1389 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful Christian novel. I am not Christian myself but I truly enjoyed the message. It is saying that all is not lost and that anyone can be saved and redeemed. I have bought this book for countless friends as they all enjoyed the book. It has touched my friends, my family and myself greatly because the book is placed in a time era where prostitution was allowed confusing poor women to believe that there is no such thing as true love but in the end love prevailed. Therefore this gives hope for the women in our generation where the idea of monogamous relationships are no longer existing but that maybe just maybe there is a guy out there who will save you from pessismistic ideas of true love.
PotterMarauder More than 1 year ago
I am personally not one for romance novels, but this book is the only exception to my dislike. This is because the story goes so much deeper than physical or even emotional. It is also about the love of God and how he will never stop pursuing us. Aside from that, the love story between Noah and Angel is like a soap opera. For the first half of the book, you keep wondering why Angel is so stupid, then you realize, "Oh...I'm doing this to God." Read this book. It's worth it. I wouldn't reccomend it for anyone under 14 years. There are a lot of adult issues in it concerning sexuality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Francine Rivers took very sensitive issues, rape and prostitution and slavery, and used them to demonstrate how God can take the ugliness that can and does occur in this dark world and use it for good. Ms. Rivers shows that God uses the weak and used and the brokenhearted. She also demonstrates the unfathomable love God has for each of us who are broken and how each of us must humble ourselves to receive His redeeming love. Redeeming Love is an exceptional book that will draw the reader in, stir the emotions, get you to think, and cause you to rejoice when mercy and grace are freely given. A definite read.
Ariella More than 1 year ago
Wow! Where to start. I was in the bookstore and haphazardly picked it up without even really taking time to read what it was about. But once I started reading it, I was hooked. The plot, the characters-everything in it was so engrossing and captivating. It's at least 300 plus pages and I finished it within 5 days. This book is truly a work of art and has truly made an impact on my life. In my opinion, Francine Rivers wrote a timeless classic, and it will forever remain my favorite book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be excellent reading. It is based on the Old Testament Book Hosea and gives nonBible readers an opportunity to understand God's unconditional love for humanity. It is also an excellent lesson in humility, acceptance, and forgiveness. I so enjoyed the book that I bought another copy to loan to friends and family. The world today concentrates too much on greed, selfishness, condemnation, and judgment. What a refreshing book to read about compassion, overcoming trials, humility and acceptance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the best book i have ever read i've had it for the past year and have read it at least 15 times, it speaks of God's love as only he can express it and as he works through us. it will make you cry and laugh, as you see the pain and redemption that only a perfict love can bring!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book this big, and I was a little under-enthusiastic to start on it. But, since my best friend's mom told me it would be a wonderful book (and since I had to give it back to her. I didn't want to keep her waiting), I sat down one day and began with the prologue. Hook, line, and sinker. I could not put down this book. I read it for hours and hours on end. I stayed up until 2 or 3 A.M. reading and reading. The only thing stopping me were my parents. If they caught me, oh boy. Anyways, reading this book would start off my day, as well as end it. I honestly could not put it down. I finished reading it in 3 and half days. It was beyond my expectation. I cried, I was scared, and I experienced all the emotions that were written. I loved all the characters, they were brilliant! I long to read it again, but I had to give it back. Oh well, I'll probably end up buying it online. Anyways, read this book. You'll be fascinated!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To mer, it lacked depth and believability, characters were predicable and not well developed. If you are looking for a unrealistic romance, knight in shining armor...then have at it. The last page made me giggle, but that was not the intended response.....no one does that in real life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. Although some parts were very disrurbing and sad. I dont recomend this book for young girls. There was no detailed sex in this book, i dont get why people wrote that in their reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. I was hooked from the very first page. I did find myself several times angry with angel. I had every emotion during this book. I found a single tear slide down my face more than once and didnt even realize it. This story makes you fall in love with the characters and thinking about the book long after you have finished it. I will read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend suggested this book to me and i finally purchased it.Not having any expectations, i thoroughly enjoyed the book and finished it in 3 days! I fell in love with Michael Hosea's character and the commitment he has to God and to his wife. There were a few areas of the book that were a little slow, but the ending was very powerful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me by my boyfriend's mom who thought I would really enjoy it. And I did! Once I started reading, I absolutely couldn't put the book down. I took this book with me everywhere I went and would read it whenever I got a spare moment. I found myself being transported to the time and place of this book, as if I was standing right there, watching everything happen right before me. I laughed and cried many times along side with the characters while I was reading this book. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Christian Romance novel, who loves to feel the love of Christ that He has for us, and who loves to be sucked in a book! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Based off of thebook oof Hosea, from the best love story of all, the Bible. Be prepared to be spritualy moved. The story tells of God's love for us no matter what we have done and wants us to know how much He loves us and wants us to know and love Him in return. A must read for teen girls and adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story...i dont know what to say! I almost stop reading it from the beginning because i felt so bad =( glad i kept reading it ...i posted it on my facebook and higly recommend it to my friends! What a love story! Great faith in GOD!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow amazing book. Speechless.