Monday, March 11, 2013

Love In a Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews

An epic journey of intimacy, rejection, betrayal . . . and hope

God gives Hosea a difficult command-marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of His love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim the Lord’s message, the woman God directs him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only means of escape, Gomer does what she’s good at-she survives. Can Hosea’s love for God and God’s love for Israel restore Gomer’s broken spirit?

With her powerful combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life one of the most complex and fascinating stories of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.

My review:
    This is truly one of the best Biblical fiction books I have read, and is a book I have already been recommending to people and telling them about. This is what Biblical fiction should be: a great story from Scripture that has a great message and helps the reader better understand and grasp the Bible version of the story.I don't read or review much Christian fiction, but have always been intrigued by the story of Hosea and Gomer. I've always enjoyed the retelling of the story that Francine Rivers did with her novel Redeeming Love, which was NOT Biblical fiction. This book is, and is totally different from Redeeming Love.

There is Biblical fiction that is mediocre, some that is pretty good, and some that is better than the norm. Love In a Broken Vessel falls into the latter. It far exceeded my expectations, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author takes some liberties with the fictional aspect of the book that I felt only added to the story instead of taking away from. She brought the story to life and filled in the holes and helped me to better understand this short book of the Bible that I often skip past. It is obvious the author did a lot of study and work before writing this novel, and it isn't just a sweet love story. She does a tremendous job of showing what God was trying to get across: That Israel was going after other gods and it was like prostitution, but Andrews doesn't leave it at that. I felt it brought it closer home, to the reader of her book, about the love God has for us today, and  how we can also liken ourselves to Hosea and Gomer when we go after other things before God.

   This book is truly one of the best Biblical fiction novels I have read, and does what great Biblical fiction should do: Tell the Biblical narrative in such a way as to help the reader better understand it, and to present the true message of the story in such a manner that it sticks with the reader and adds to the story, and doesn't detract from it.

About the author:

Mesu Andrews is the author of Love Amid the Ashes and Love's Sacred Song. She is an active speaker who has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep understanding and love for God's Word, Andrews brings the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.

Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.