Colleen's Reviews > Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
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Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: wwjd
Read from August 29 to September 21, 2011

A highly-emotional parable of religion on several levels has ample opportunity to be ham-handed, tone-deaf, or otherwise make some clunky missteps. This one, in my opinion, walks the tight-rope the whole time. Bravo.

Redeeming Love is an insightful metaphor for marriage writ large, but looking even larger, I think there's a good 12th grade English class argument that can be made for Angel as the Sinner, Michael as the Divine (view spoiler), and Paul as the Peter or Paul or other all-too-falliable Disciple. In a Pilgrim's Progress kind of way, other characters represent some of the basic virtues that are utterly alien to Angel. And all of this metaphor makes it a really inspiring read without being obnoxiously didactic.

The story is gripping, too, and fresh. There were a few points where I'd wince, figuring, for example, "oh, this argument is going to turn five pages of awkward misunderstanding that's just going to make me want to bang my head against the wall (or rather, steering wheel -- book on CD.)" And instead, the next line, someone would say, "wait, hang on, I think there's a misunderstanding. What's actually bothering you?" and the conversation would move to a much better level, though usually no less harrowing! It's a pleasure when characters are obviously not STUPID. Even Paul, much as I *did* smack the steering wheel in annoyance at him, has 100% understandable motivations and views. Wrong. But understandable :)

I think my biggest complaint is that the end went out on an epilogue note, rather than showing a return, with serious interest, of Angel to the happy role of Michael's wife. I don't need the author to tell me they both lived long, happy lives -- if you didn't tell me that, I'd assume it, and frankly, it's why I'm not hiding this as a spoiler. I would have liked at least a smaller-scale look -- that they build the vineyard he talked about at one point, for example. And rather than rattle off (view spoiler) A few, choice moments like that would have been so much more powerful than "here's a chronology of the next 70 years."

Another, more minor complaint: I was absolutely convinced that Angel was going to (view spoiler)

But overall, the growth that Angel undergoes made for an always-moving story. It also made me really wish I was a farmer's wife, because it sounds utterly idyllic. My husband's less than thrilled at my Little House on the Prairie aspirations...
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