Book and movie review: ‘Redeeming Love’

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The story that is “Redeeming Love,” written by Francine Rivers, was published in 1991. 31 years later, it hit theaters worldwide, bringing the original story of forgiveness and happy endings to the screen. Having already read the book before the movie came out, I expected the movie to find difficulty in portraying many of the characters in front of a large cinematic audience. However, after reading the book and watching the movie, I realized there were not very many differences apart from a couple of characters.
The title, “Redeeming Love,” comes from the Bible’s book of Hosea, and refers to God’s “redeeming love” for sinners. Both the book and movie were set in the 1950s in California during the Gold Rush.
The main character, Angel, has lived most of her life surrounded by prostitution, which was very common in that era and location. Throughout the story, she remains prompted by hatred and continues her path of accepting betrayal from men. After living the majority of her life as a prostitute, she meets Michael Hosea, a committed Christian who is prepared to listen to God’s plan for his future spouse. God leads Hosea, a farmer, into an unexpected situation after he sees Angel in the upstairs window of the brothel she was working at.
Hosea then goes on to pray for guidance and direction during this period of confusion and realizes exactly what God has called him to do. Soon after, he buys a ticket to see Angel, expecting to be welcomed by a woman wanting exactly what he has to offer: a home and a husband.
He then spent many days and nights striving to thaw the ice that Angel had built around her heart throughout her years of torture. Gradually, with each day, he breaks Angel’s every stinging expectation of a man’s character and she begins to imagine this dream life, despite her reluctance.
Another character, Duke, comes into play earlier on in the book and continues to be on the back burner throughout the entirety. Duke plays a much larger role in the book than in the movie, which makes sense because of his explicit actions. When Angel was just a child, she was sold to Duke and that’s where her life in prostitution began.
Instead of focusing on the gory details of Angel’s life, the movie directors chose to hone in on the relationship between Angel and Michael. Throughout this story, Michael decided to remain pure and refused to use Angel like the other men in her life have.
Of course, the movie cannot create such a complex storyline as the book because there just isn’t enough time to show everything. Although the movie definitely gets the main point across, the book carries you along a broken road with Angel for so long that you almost feel her pain.
The author, Francine Rivers, has mentioned multiple times that “Redeeming Love” is a story that should resonate with everyone and their own trials in life. This is the story of a woman who felt incapable of being loved, who became comfortable in her brokenness and misery and longed to revert to the mistakes that did her in.
It not only took Michael’s persuading to deliver her but also the love of God. She was then ready to surrender her old life of anguish and sadness for a life of serenity and joy. This happened when she found her worth and trusted herself in the hands of the God Michael believed in so steadfastly.
Even though you know how the film will end, you’re drawn into the plot by the conflict between Michael’s incomprehensible love and Angel’s continued reckless choices. This story, which has been presented not only as a well-known book but now as a movie, is not for the light-hearted.
This representation of redemption and second chances goes far beyond the scope of a family friendly watch or read. If you are prepared to be sobbing for a total of 432 pages or two hours and 15 minutes, then “Redeeming Love” is perfect for you. Therefore, I implore you to invest yourself in this narrative and experience the passion that is symbolized by God’s constant love for us and a decision to live the life you choose.

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