Today starts a new series on this blog which will run for the next couple of weeks: Books to Buy For Christmas (or any other time).
A while ago, I invited anyone who so desired to recommend up to three books that they think people should buy as Christmas presents for their friends and family.
Many people responded, and you’ll see some of the recommendations in the left-hand sidebar of this page.
Some of those who recommended books have since sent me reviews and I’m going to be publishing a review a day for you to read and to hopefully give you some great ideas for wonderful gifts to give.
Today’s review is written by my awesome sister, Jennie Pollock, who recommends Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’ll let her explain why:
I don’t read much Christian fiction. It’s almost universally poorly written, with trite, uncompelling story lines and unconvincing characters.
And a disproportionate amount of it seems to be set on the Oregon Trail or in the California gold rush.
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers does, admittedly, fit this last stereotype, but in every other respect it is as unlike a typical Christian novel as it is possible to be. Drawing on the Old Testament book of Hosea for its format, the story is an allegorical telling of the author’s own conversion story, and is a compelling, moving and joyful read.
Michael Hosea, an upright, godly farmer has been asking God to make it clear to him who he should marry. Girl after suitable girl comes through town, but God has remained silent. Until one day, from across the street, a girl called Angel catches his eye. “This one, beloved,” comes the still small voice Hosea has waited so long to hear, and his heart sinks, for
though she is indeed beautiful, Angel is a prostitute.
Rivers skilfully weaves Hosea’s and Angel’s stories together, opening up their worlds, their hopes, their dreams and their fears to us. The narrative’s many twists and turns grip me and draw me along every time, but the reason I return to it year after year and recommend it to anyone who’ll listen is the novel’s window into the amazing love God has for his
people. It makes me cry and cry and cry every time, being reminded of how fickle and ungrateful we are, and how patient God is, but most of all, how deeply it hurts him when we reject his love and kindness and return instead to the things we know are going to harm and hurt us.
Almost all of Francine Rivers’ books are beautifully-crafted, perceptive and revealing in a deeply prophetic way, but this, being the most personal, is in my opinion the most powerful. Read it. But make sure you have plenty of Kleenex to hand.
Thank you, Jennie. I’ve never read it… so maybe you could buy it for one of us for Christmas? 🙂
Here are all the books that have been recommended thus far:
If you click on any of these book links and subsequently purchase one, I will get a small commission from Amazon. I have decided that all commissions will go toward my family’s Well Fund, to try to build a well for a needy community in Africa.