Monday, April 26, 2010

No Love For The Ugly Ones....

At the recommendation of this girl I read this book.   "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers is admittedly my first foray into Christian fiction.  I LOVE to read!!!!  But, my true written love is gritty, crime solving, who-done-it type mysteries.  I had some reservations about this book from the get go...for one, I'm not a huge fan of period pieces (Redeeming Love takes place in the 1830's-50's).  I like my crimes to be solved using the latest technologies available.  Plus, I was worried that since it is a Christian novel complete with a study guide and group discussion section, it would be "watered down", "fluffy" or predictable...that the language would be juvenile, rife with "Gosh darn its" and "Oh mys".

But!  This was a GREAT read!  Rivers based the story off of the biblical story of Hosea, and immediately captures your emotions as she tell how young Sarah becomes a broken shell of a girl sold into prostitution at the tender age of 8!!!  As a young woman, Sarah, now known as "Angel", makes her way to gold country California where she continues to do the only thing she knows how and the men are willing to pay for it.  Yikes!  Along comes Michael, who has prayed for a wife and much to his surprise, the Lord leads him to Angel.  I don't want to give too much the book yourself!!  Just know that it was hard to put the book down at night and I would look forward to the next time I would get to read more.

After I finished the book, I taunted Crafty P for her recommendation of a book with a HUGE flaw!  Truth be told, the book didn't have a big flaw...I just have a big chip on my shoulder.  Allow me to explain...throughout the book, Angel is described as beautiful.  More than just regular beautiful, but stop and stare beautiful...with long, silky blond hair, clear porcelain skin, all the right curves.  You're telling me that a hooker in the 1850's would be beautiful????  Let alone have all of her teeth???  I'm thinking more along the lines of lice infestation, bloated with infection (STD's aren't just modern day scare tactics, people!), missing teeth from lack of nutrients.  I want to yell that this reeks of a stereotypical romance novel, the beautiful girl, the handsome rugged man!  It's not fair, I say!  The other girls who "worked" with Angel were not portrayed as being as fact they were described as fat and ugly and drunk.  Rivers clearly used more delicate language than that, but you get the point.

I get it though, no one wants to read about unattractive people getting together...can you imagine?  "His chubby, gnarled fingers stroked her scarred and pitted cheek as she looked down at his stout, bald frame."  Doesn't quite do it for ya, does it?  But for once, just once, couldn't an author create a less than gorgeous, quite regular looking main character and make the story work?  Why can't the ugly hooker get rescued?  I mean, if God is going to lead you to try to save a hooker, why not an ugly one?  However, Rivers writes in a way so that it IS believable.  She makes it crystal clear that while Angel may be beautiful on the outside, she looks more like Quasimodo on the inside.

I guess I have just always been jealous of the beautiful blonds.  Just now I fixed my ponytail and almost started a fire with my dry as kindling, knotted mess of dark curls.  As a kid, I would wrap a yellow blanket around my head and pretend I had long, flowing locks.  While all the girls were feathering their hair a la Farrah Fawcett, I was stuck with a stylish Gilda Radner look.  Alas, I tried being a blond for about 6 months a decade ago...and it just didn't, it burned a lot.  So, I have resigned myself to the fact that if I were to be cast in a movie of this book, I would be the drunk hooker that gets killed in a fire.

Oh well.  It's still a good book.  I think I'll read it again...which I never do.  That's how much I enjoyed it.


Crafty P said...

that is one hilarious review. I mean, it was one thing to talk to you about it and quite another thing to read what you said to me on the phone. Still, I don't remember Rivers saying she was a blonde, but it's a detail I may have overlooked. I really pictured her with hair more like yours... actually, I pictured her looking more like YOU! HA! TAKE THAT!

I hope to read it again this summer when I can sit out on my deck and let the tears stream down my face as the sun sets. sigh. it was a very moving book.

Happy said...

I, too, loved the book and bought it so I can read it again, which I say I'm going to do with more books, but usually don't.

And, please, Rachel...write us a romance novel. Even if it's just on your blog. Because if you wrote a romance novel I would totally read it. I nearly spit chocolate ice cream on my screen at the part about his chubby, gnarled fingers. Oh. my. word. Hilarious.

I'm not even sure what to think about the flaw, itself. I mean, what you say makes sense (girl, you are SMART), but I just like to think she's pretty. But she isn't blonde in my head, either.

And, Rachel, are such a beautiful lady. Seriously. I love your hair. Love your style. Love how you wear your make up. You just keep on rockin with your beautiful self and go write me a romance story!

Rachel said...

Awwww shucks, girls. I'm blushing.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if we read the same book??? The girl on the cover of my copy is clearly blond...then on page 12, "She had her father's chin and nose, and her mother's blonde hair and fair skin." 59, "Magowan grabbed a handful of blonde hair and yanked her up." 171, "When she straightened, he noticed her tiny waist and a long, thick golden braid that reached it." 289, "She pushed a loose strand of blonde hair back from her face..."

Not that I'm counting or anything...

Happy said...

Oh my goodness, Rachel!!!!

I just looked at my copy and she's blonde on mine, too.

Hmnn...I think I need to start paying closer attention. In any case, you're hilarious to quote all those lines!