Happy Good Friday, everyone! 🙂
Lately a few of you have asked me what I have been reading, especially since my secretive Book Swim post in January. In that post I mentioned really enjoying a new book, but never disclosed the author or title because I didn’t want to make any recommendations until I was done. Honestly, I also didn’t want to make any recommendations because it’s a Christian fiction title and, well, I was embarrassed, plain and simple. Sometimes I feel that because I am an over-educated attorney (I have more than a law degree, if you can believe it) people expect me to spend my days reading David Foster Wallace. Not so. Not so at all. I have done plenty of serious reading most of my life, but not now. I’m just not getting the pleasure I used to from reading and breaking a sweat.
[…]I love God – but I don’t always come out and say it (I don’t want to be considered creepy; is that bad?)[…]
I feel the exact same way sometimes.
And that is when I decided it was stupid for me not to share a book just because of its religious content.
So, here we go. Out of everything I have read since the beginning of the year, there are four books I have read that were worth staying up late to read. But first, a disclaimer. I am a sucker for a good love story. A sucker. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. I don’t care if it’s predictable and formulaic. I LOVE IT. I don’t love romance novels, though, mainly because the sex scenes can be a bit ridiculous. Let’s just say the last romance novel I ever read had a scene with a porch, a rosebud, and hurricane. The books I have recently read and loved are all love stories, but they aren’t necessarily romance novels. They are all Christian fiction titles, a genre I didn’t even know existed until I read Rachel’s book recommendation post in December.
Okay, first up is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I was going through the comments in Rachel’s post and this books came up more than once. Actually, a few books from Francine Rivers were recommended. I didn’t recognize the name so, of course, I googled her. A quick stop over to Amazon showed me Redeeming Love had a whopping 5 stars with almost 700 reviews. I thought that was impressive and was intrigued by the idea of faith-based literature. I put it on my Christmas list.
Loved it! The ending was a bit Lifetime Channel, but that is expected with any love story. The premise is simple. It’s a retelling of the story of Hosea in the Bible (God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer.) set in the California Gold Rush. The main character, Angel, was sold into a life of prostitution as a child. It’s not the happiest plot line I have ever read, but it’s done tastefully and without any unnecessary graphic scenes. You wouldn’t think so if you read the negative reviews on Amazon, which I love to do because that’s when you can get a true pulse on CRAZY. Here are two of my favorites for Redeeming Love.
The main, rehashed point made on these pages is that this story is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible. But from the get-go I found this to be a very UN-biblical take on that story. Although it is true that Hosea was asked by God to marry Gomer, a former prostitute, that story and this one differ in a SIGNIFICANT way. God did not ask Hosea to do anything outside of His Law. Jews were only allowed to marry other Jews, and Gomer was Jewish. And she was NOT actively prostituting herself at the time of their marriage. (She had been a prostitute, and became one again after their marriage, but was not when God called Hosea to marry her). In Redeeming Love, God tells Michael to do something that goes directly against His revealed will by telling him to marry a woman who is not a Christian, and who is actively practicing immorality. To me, this is a serious flaw in this “based on a book of the Bible” hook. When I have shared this with some Christian friends who said this was “the best book they ever read,” they admitted that they never thought of those things. Which seems sad to me, who could not miss them.
Sweetheart, put a sock in it.
Then there were a few like the one below:
This is what was called a “pot boiler” in earlier years. I don’t understand how or why a Christian publisher agreed to publish this book. This is pure and unadulterated porn. I see nothing redeeming about it.
I could tell you what I think about the above comment, but someone already did so nicely on Amazon.
Evidently you have never read or watched a real porn in your whole life.
So there you go, my first book. You have been warned: it may or may not be a literal (and pornographic!) interpretation of a story in the Bible.
This post turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, so I’m breaking it up to spare your eyes. I’ll be back with the other books, which are actually a series. These next books were my favorite of the bunch!