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Redeeming Love

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The truth that ran through that book [ Redeeming Love], absolutely brought me to my knees. I was a changed person after reading that book.” 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. What was I to do, Alex? You’ve never spent so much as a minute with her. What was I to tell her? That her father doesn’t care? That he wishes she had never even been born?”

Sarah's story is a powerful one. I felt that it often went too far into the descriptions of what she was feeling...thus, instead of giving the facts, it presented images and drew out emotions where bare facts would have been much less sensual. We didn't have to go down into the depths to feel how revolting her life was. We didn't have to spend two chapters on her being sold at the age of eight and raped by a monster, over and over again, over the next number of years. 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. How was Sarah/Angel rejected and betrayed? What were her earliest experiences with God and/or the church?Just finished doing a re-read via audiobook this time (September 2020). Still my all-time favorite book. I'm excited that next year there will be a movie of this book releasing. It was the 1850’s, and the California gold rush was in full swing. And it wasn’t long before Angel found herself in the midst of chaos.

You’ve spent too much time in church,” he said derisively. “Have you ever thought that you wouldn’t have the problems you do now if you had gotten rid of her the way I told you. It would’ve been easy. But you ran out.” 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.

After the presentation, Duke reprimands Angel. However, he is met by the singing stranger from the crowd, who threatens to have Duke hanged if he lays a single finger on Angel. With that, the man escorts Angel out, and on their way out Angel rescues two other young girls Duke was using as victims. When the men at the brothel see the two young girls with Angel, they become furious and destroy the place. The man takes them to his house, where his wife and daughter take care of them. Jonathan Axle, the man who saved her, is a wealthy and respected banker with a solid Christian family. Angel starts to attend church with the Axle family and grows fond of them. This story follows the life of a girl who has believed from her earliest memories that she was a mistake. Not meant to be born. A burden to everyone she encountered. Papa flashed Mama a thunderous look. “Let her speak. It’s what you wanted, isn’t it? Why are you shushing her now, Mae?”

Now, I don't know enough about the romance genre to say whether this is endemic within it, but I have seen my fair share of romantic comedies, and there is a sort of love narrative that I don't approve of.Sarah/Amanda/Mara/Tirzah/Angel is a prostitute who was sold into the profession against her will as a child and then raped. Over the years she has become bitter and cold; it's her only defense against her growing despair at sleeping with men she doesn't like in a prison gilded by the gold dust of the Californian mining town she's settled in. On one of her walks, Michael Hosea sees Angel and hears God tell him that this is the woman he is destined to marry. When he finds out what she is, he throws a mini-hissy before pulling up his britches and delivering Angel the news. She is not amused, and rebuffs him multiple times. When he marries her, she's actually unconscious from a beating. For ‘Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association awarded Redeeming Love the ECPA Gold Book award, an award that recognizes books that have sold 500,000 copies, in 2005 and the ECPA Platinum Book Award, which is presented to books that have sold one million copies, in 2009.

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