Francine Rivers is perhaps the most dynamic author I have had the pleasure of encountering.
Until this point, my favorite book has been the classic Pride and Prejudice; I doubt that Jane Austen's masterpiece shall be dethroned from number one in my mind any time soon.
However, Mrs. Rivers had absolutely captured my attention and challenged me to encounter God's love, forgiveness, understanding, suffering, and truth. I first read "Redeeming Love," which is a depiction of the love that Hosea showed to his wife, who was a prostitute. "Redeeming Love" is set in a more modern era and is recounted from the perspective of Gomer, Hosea's wife (though she has a different name in Rivers' book). In "Redeeming Love," God's love is so clearly demonstrated through the character of Michael Hosea in a way that I had never imagined or visualized so clearly before. It is truly a gift.
The story being an analogy, of course, as to the unconditional love that God has for his children caused me to be so grateful for the Lord's ever forgiving nature and loving character. The woman, Angel (as her name is in the book) is blinded and calloused, unable to feel and experience the tremendous love that her husband offers her, and yet he eventually breaks through her shell and she is able to reap all of the benefits of having his love poured into her. I realize that it's "just a book," but it honestly gave me the opportunity to personally recognize the powerful God that I serve, and that I take for granted.
Secondly, I just finished "The Atonement Child," which deals with the arguments regarding abortion, but in a very real, challenging situation: the life of a college student. The way that Francine Rivers writes causes her readers to be caught up in every moment of the book. I honestly finished the book in only a few hours because it was so incredibly engaging. The storyline involves not only hard decisions but it also deals with unspoken sins, bitterness, envy, legalism, and so many prevalent issues that must be dealt with today. Especially family quarrels and disagreements, misguided counseling, and so many other things that undermine our freedom as Christians come to light in this book.
I have just begun "The Last Sin Eater," but I am hopeful that it will be as rivetting as the first two I've read.
What an inspiring woman! Francine, you are amazing. :-) Thank God there are women like Francine who aren't afraid to attack the untouched issues in society today and make them powerfully relevant.
I encourage you to check out Francine Rivers. :) Incredible.