Audience: Christian fiction
Length: 479 pages
Author: Francine Rivers
Release Date: May 9th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael Hosea obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation until, despite her resistance her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she can no longer deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael Hosea does…the One who will never let her go. A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.
A GOOD UNDERLYING MESSAGE.
I finally got this one off of my TBR. I did enjoy it, but it was also a lot darker than I thought it would be for a Christian fiction/romance.
My heart hurt this entire book for the main character, Sarah. What an awful and debilitating life of trials she has had to endure. At times I was just as angry and upset as I felt she was because the cards of life she had been dealt definitely seemed unfair. I liked Sarah’s character overall. She had a hardened exterior and a tough personality for a reason. Watching her slowly change and overcome what had happened to her was a strength all its own.
Michael is a saint y’all. I was impressed with how much of an enduring husband he became. I can’t even begin to imagine choosing to love someone everyday when they have yet to show you a single kindness. The allusions towards him and representing unfailing love and always having a home were clearly seen.
Some of the side characters were good and others enraged me. I especially did not like Paul whatsoever. Even when he came around at the end I was so over the way he had treated Sarah the entire book. I did love Miriam and thought she was the best kind of friend. She and her family truly welcomed Sarah and Michael into their lives and allowed Sarah to get a chance to see what a family can be like.
At times I did feel lit a got a bit preachy on its subject matter. I mostly thought it did a good job of showing how one kindness and a forgiving mindset can really change the course of someone’s life. I thought this book could have ended a handful of times before it actually did and it caused some chapters to drag. By the end I understood why Sarah had to make some decisions on her own two feet and it really brought her character home.
I will have this in my trigger warning section below, but please read this book at your digression. Some of the subject matter made for a very dark book with more mature themes.
Overall audience notes:
- Christian fiction + romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses, some fade to black scenes with no steam
- Violence: physical; see next section for more
- Trigger warnings: child prostitution, sexual assault, rape (including that of a child), thoughts of suicide, suicide ideation