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Authors: Francine Rivers

Redeeming Love

BOOK: Redeeming Love
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Praise for

Redeeming Love

“Francine Rivers is one of the most riveting novelists I’ve ever read.
Redeeming Love
is spell-binding. Her vivid word-pictures of the pursuing-forgiving love of God thrilled my soul.”

Sportin’ a “Tude”

“The timeless biblical themes of surrender to God, forgiveness, and unconditional love are beautifully portrayed in this compelling novel, brought to life through unforgettable characters.”

—STEVE ARTERBURN, New Life Clinics, Laguna Beach, CA

“As she carefully reveals God’s love and transforming power in Angel’s life, Francine Rivers has skillfully taken a story out of biblical history and made it relevant for today. The story becomes a reality. I highly recommend it for a worthwhile and enjoyable read.”

—BEVERLY LAHAYE, founder and president of Concerned Women for America and author of bestselling,
Spirit-Controlled Women

“Simply put,
Redeeming Love
is the most powerful work of fiction you will ever read.

Steeped in Scripture and filled with grace, it is a masterpiece that moves beyond allegory to touch the reader at the deepest level where faith is born. Michael Hosea is the consummate hero; Angel, in one way or another, is every woman who has ever lived without love. You cannot read this book and not be changed.”

—LIZ CURTIS HIGGS, author of
The Parable of the Lily,
Louisville, KY

“One of the most important things I do as a writer is read—a lot. Some books teach me, others entertain me, others thrill me by carrying me to worlds far away. Francine Rivers’

Redeeming Love
does all of the above and so much more. My heart and soul were profoundly shaken as I realized anew the lessons portrayed through the stories of Hosea and Gomer, Michael and Angel. This may be the single most moving book you will read this year—or in your lifetime.”

—ANGELA ELWELL HUNT, Angela Hunt Communications, Seminole, FL

“Another great story from Francine Rivers. Men and women pick this up! Is it a western or a romance? It doesn’t really matter. The story will intrigue you! Men, rediscover the joy and importance of honor. Women, be affirmed in your real worth! Together, discover a God of redeeming love. A wonderful piece of fiction that could be truth for you!”

—DON PAPE, Literary Agent, Alive Communications, Inc.

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Over the past decade, thousands of letters and e-mails to Francine have poured in from people who, after reading this book, experienced life-changing encounters with God’s relentless love, people who felt inspired to love their spouses more, and those who felt the healing touch of true redemption. If you’ve read this powerful story before, we believe you will be touched more deeply than you were the first time. If you’re about to delve in for the first time, prepare to join those of us who have wept, repented, rejoiced, and made new commit-ments to Christ.

A caution to first-time readers: In this retelling of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer in an 1800s setting, Francine was faced with some difficult choices. Scripture deals openly and frankly with Gomer’s marital infidelity and prostitution. How much “detail” then, should Francine include to bring that impact into a fresh setting? As you can see in her author’s note on pages 465–468, she was concerned that her readers would understand why she must deal so directly with these issues. We believe that you will understand—when you have read the whole book. But until you have, please exercise discretion with younger readers. If this book were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.

Here at the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, we measure the success of our books by whether or not they deliver real life-change to our readers. We aspire to produce books that challenge you to grow and to per-severe, and that draw you closer to God. Year after year,
Redeeming Love
continues to do just that. Readers of all ages and genders have been impacted by this touching account of hope and redemption. Many of Francine’s fans have hailed this riveting story as one of the best works of fiction of all time. We agree, and we expect you will too.

Stephen W. Cobb


WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

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12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200

Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921

A division of Random House Inc.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are taken from the King James Version. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Hold Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

ISBN: 978-1-60142-061-9

Copyright © 1997, 2007 by Francine Rivers Study Guide written by P. Lynch.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

MULTNOMAH is a trademark of Multnomah Books, and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The colophon is a trademark of Multnomah Books.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the original trade paperback edition as follows: Rivers, Francine, 1947–

Redeeming love/by Francine Rivers.

p. cm.

1. Frontier and pioneer life—California—San Francisco—Fiction. 2. San Francisco (Calif.)—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3568.I83165R58 1997



Printed in the United States of America

2007—First Hardcover Edition

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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To those who hurt and hunger.

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With special thanks to my editor, Karen Ball, for her belief in this book, and her help in redeeming it for the Christian reader.

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Let anyone among you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her.

J E S U S , J O H N 8 : 7

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Child of Darkness

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The prince of darkness is a gentleman.



E N G L A N D, 1 8 3 5

Alex Stafford was just like Mama said. He was tall and dark, and Sarah had never seen anyone so beautiful. Even dressed in dusty riding clothes, his hair damp with perspiration, he was like the princes in the stories Mama read. Sarah’s heart beat with wild joy and pride. None of the other fathers she saw at Mass compared to him.

He looked at her with his dark eyes, and her heart sang. She was wearing her best blue frock and white pinafore, and Mama had braided her hair with pink and blue ribbons. Did Papa like the way she looked? Mama said blue was his favorite color, but why didn’t he smile? Was she fidgeting? Mama said to stand straight and still and act like a lady. She said he would like that.

But he didn’t look pleased at all.

“Isn’t she beautiful, Alex?” Mama said. Her voice sounded strange…tight, like she was choking. “Isn’t she the most beautiful little girl you’ve ever seen?”

Sarah watched Papa’s dark eyes frown. He didn’t look happy. He looked angry. Like Mama looked sometimes when Sarah talked too much or asked too many questions.


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“Just a few minutes,” Mama said quickly. Too quickly. Was she afraid?

But why? “That’s all I’m asking, Alex. Please. It would mean so much to her.”

Alex Stafford stared down at Sarah. His mouth was pressed tight, and he studied her silently. Sarah stood as still as she could. She’d stared at herself in the mirror so long this morning, she knew what he would see. She had her father’s chin and nose, and her mother’s blonde hair and fair skin. Her eyes were like her mother’s, too, although they were even more blue. Sarah wanted Papa to think she was pretty, and she gazed up at him hopefully. But the look in his eyes was not a nice one.

“Did you pick blue on purpose, Mae?” Papa’s words startled Sarah. They were cold and angry. “Because it brings out the color of her eyes?”

Sarah couldn’t help it, she glanced at her mother—and her heart fell.

Mama’s face was filled with hurt.

Alex glanced toward the foyer. “Cleo!”

“She’s not here,” Mama said quietly, keeping her head high. “I gave her the day off.”

Papa’s eyes seemed to get even darker. “Did you? Well, that leaves you in a fix, doesn’t it, darling?”

Mama stiffened, then bit her lip and glanced down at Sarah. What was wrong? Sarah wondered sadly. Wasn’t Papa happy to see her? She had been so excited that she was actually going to be with him at last, even for a little while.…

“What would you have me do?” Mama’s words were directed at Papa, so Sarah stayed silent, still hoping.

“Send her away. She knows how to find Cleo, I would imagine.”

Pink spots appeared on Mama’s cheeks. “Meaning what, Alex? That I entertain others in your absence?”

Sarah’s smile fell in confusion. They spoke so coldly to one another.

Neither looked at her. Had they forgotten she was there? What was wrong?

Mama was distraught. Why was Papa so angry about Cleo not being home?

Chewing her lip, Sarah looked between them. Stepping closer, she tugged on her father’s coat. “Papa…”

“Don’t call me that.”

She blinked, frightened and confused by his manner. He
her papa.


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Mama said so. He even brought her presents every time he came. Mama gave them to her. Maybe he was angry that she had never thanked him. “I want to thank you for the presents you—”

“Hush, Sarah,” her mother said quickly. “Not now, darling.”

Papa flashed Mama a thunderous look. “Let her speak. It’s what you wanted, isn’t it? Why are you shushing her now, Mae?”

Mama stepped closer and put her hand on Sarah’s shoulder. Sarah could feel Mama’s fingers trembling, but Papa bent toward her now, smiling.

BOOK: Redeeming Love
12.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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