le 2 août 2004
Set in the 1850s during the Californian gold rush. Michael Hosea is a hardworking farmer and a Christian. He has been praying to God that he may find a wife. One day God sends him a message to marry a prostitute called Angel from the local town of Pair-A-Dice. Angel was sold into prostitution at the tender age of eight after her mother died. She has known no other life other than that of selling her body to the highest bidder. Each night Michael goes to the brothel to bid for half an hour with Angel. Only he's not buying for half an hour of pleasure of her body but time to talk with her and to persuade her to marry him. Angel does not want to marry Michael but cannot get him out of her mind.
Time and time again Angel refuses Michael's proposal until one day she is badly beaten up by the brothel's bodyguard and is left for dead. Michael marries her and takes her away to his farm. There she slowly recovers and learns how to to do household chores and farming. She also learns of the love that Michael has for her. However, this is not enough and she runs back to Pair-A-Dice and returns to her old life of prostitution. Michael comes chasing after her and brings her back to his home even though he catches her in bed with a customer. He is heartbroken but loves her and loves his God who tells him to look after her. They settle back into their comfortable life on the farm and Angel finds herself falling in love with her husband who teaches her all the ways of the farm and shows her how to enoy life like watching a simple sunrise. Also he does not make love with her until he feels that she is doing so with her heart rather than doing a job.
The power of Michael's love frightens Angel and she does not want herself falling in love with him as her mother was heartbroken by her father. She does not want to believe in Michael's love and ends up running away again and again. Each time Michael runs after her and brings her back except for the last time when Michael feels that Angel can only be free if she chooses to come back to him by her own free will. Michael also believes that Angel must find God before they can live a happy peaceful life together.
This was a powerful love story. Both between Michael and Angel and also between them and God. This book is based on the book of Hosea in the Old Testament and tells us of God's uncoditional love for us. It made me pray for all the abused children in the World. Michael is probably the most selfless person you could meet in a book. Time and time again he forgives Angel and takes her back as his wife despite her betrayals and loves her unconditionally. This is an amazing book with a powerful message of God's unconditional love for us. A very highly recommended read. I shall be looking for more books by Francine Rivers to read.
Lea Ling Tsang
le 6 mars 2012
I bought this book simply because it was in Amazons suggestion list. I dislike reading any stories that have to do with christianity/bible, its been rammed into me all my life.
But this book came from the heart. Every time the text said prayer I could substitue meditate, or another word. When it used the word god, it was the god of my heart and not the god/bible, if you know what I mean. I cried at the end of the book, I sat there in front of the fire blubbering through my tears. This book offered me a notion of love and a knowing of the universe that I had not experienced. Its one of those books that if you let it wash over you it will wash away lots and lots of dried up, negative crud that blocks the view of beauty. Its not for everyone, but it touched me very deeply.