Redeeming Love Summary

Francine Rivers

Redeeming Love

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Redeeming Love Summary

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Redeeming Love is a historical romance based on “Hosea,” a book of the bible. Written by Francine Rivers and published in 1991, it is the story of a prostitute who is loved unconditionally by one man and the fall and rise of her life.

Sarah is a little girl in England in the year 1865. She has just returned from meeting her father, Alex, for the first time. She finds out that she is the product of an affair, and that her mother, Mae, was encouraged to abort her. When she refused, Alex left her.

Mae’s maid, Cleo, agrees to take Sarah on vacation so that Mae can meet with Alex alone. While they are together, Cleo takes Sarah to a brothel, gets drunk, and sleeps with a man there. When the man leaves, Cleo tells her that all men want sex, and they will always leave.

Later, Mae dies and leaves Sarah in the care of a drunken, old man. This man does not know what to do with her, but he hears that a wealthy Duke is looking for a child. The Duke is a pedophile, and when he takes Sarah into his household, he is taking a new mistress. He changes her name to Angel. She spends ten years with the Duke and eventually runs away.

She runs away to San Francisco, where she joins a brothel to support herself. She becomes an exclusive, high-priced prostitute, but her wages are withheld from her, and she is kept in confinement.

Michael Hosea first sees her on a trip to sell produce; he hears the voice of God tell him that he is supposed to marry this woman. He is incredulous, but he obeys God and pays the fee to speak with her. She refuses him, but he pays the fee for the next three nights. She rebuffs him each time.

On the last night, he returns to find a bodyguard of the Madame has beaten her. She agrees to marry him on a whim so that he can care for her. She leaves the brothel. He nurses her back to health, but she still refuses to accept their arrangement fully. When his brother, Paul, returns, he recognizes Angel as the prostitute from the brothel and believes she has deceived his brother. This contempt drives a wedge between the brothers with neither understanding the other’s decisions.

Angel runs away from Michael and accepts a ride into town from Paul. She repays him by letting him have sex with her. She wants to return to the brothel to get the money kept from her, but she discovers it has burned down. She has nowhere else to go and returns to working above a bar. Michael finally finds her, and they escape the crowd of men waiting their turn with her.

They return to Michael’s house, and Angel begins to develop feelings for him. They scare her. Though they have sex regularly, she is disconnected from the act, until one night, she experiences the same pleasure Michael does.

One day, they fix a broken wheel for a family named the Altmans. Angel tells the mother that she met Michael in a brothel, but the woman has nothing but compassion for her. The daughter Miriam begins to have feelings for Paul, but Angel believes Miriam’s feelings are really for for Michael. She believes Miriam will make him happier than she will, so she runs away again.

She works in a store for a while, and Michael finds her again. She tells him that she is frightened by the idea of their love. In a flashback, we find that she had became pregnant twice during her time with the Duke, but each time he ended the pregnancy. The second time he ensured she could never get pregnant again. When she runs away for the final time, Michael says he will not go after her if she does not want to be with him.

She is taken in by the Duke again and agrees to sing in his brothel. She is too old to be of interest to him, but he plans to use her to make money. On stage, she begins to sing “Rock of Ages,” and a man joins her. This man is a preacher, and the preacher helps her escape along with two young girls in the Duke’s clutches.

She becomes a Christian while living with him and his family. Paul and Miriam finally admit their feelings and marry. Paul goes to San Francisco to look for Angel, and he sees her with the preacher. Thinking she is still a prostitute, he is angered, but when he approaches her, he is astonished by her humble attitude. He tells her that Michael has been waiting for her during her three-year absence.

She decides to return. She finds Michael in the fields, and she runs to him. She reveals that her name is Sarah, and he believes that this means that God will bless them with children just as he did in the Old Testament. The epilogue says that they had children and lived happily ever after.

The novel is about redemption. Sarah lives as a prostitute and does not expect love from anyone. She cannot understand that Michael truly loves her until she accepts the love of God for herself. This story shows that everyone is capable of change, and that having patience is the key to receiving all the blessings in life. Angel’s life seemed hopeless, but as she finally accepts that she is Sarah, she is able to live a happy life with the man she loves.