Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Color is Redeeming Love?

I love when people disagree with me, especially when they stick around long enough to have a good discussion. The other day, I got into a discussion with a woman about the color of a novel. It started with a literary agent asking me what kinds of books I thought were missing in Christian literature. I answered that it seems like most of what is out there is either pastel, as is the case with romance and other forms of women’s fiction, or it is the dark browns and black of stories about demonic forces taking over the world. There isn’t much in between. In another part of the discussion, another commenter said something about Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. I said that I had read the book and I saw it as being primarily aimed at women and it is more pastel. The woman disagreed, so I thought she was disagreeing about Redeeming Love being aimed at women. I went into some detail about how Francine Rivers’ had fashioned Redeeming Love in such a way that the woman had the primary lead and the man, aside from rescuing her from prostitution in the beginning, does little to influence the outcome of the story. It is only after she silences her demons that she returns to him. I said that when I read the story of Hosea, what intrigues me is the man’s role in the story. Here is a man who loves his wife, but she leaves him and the kids anyway because she thinks her lovers have more money. Here is a man who is willing to let her lovers take the credit for the things he’s doing for her, because he loves her. Here is a man who, even after all she’s done to hurt him, even after she’s reached the point where other men don’t want her, is willing to walk into the slave market and pay the price to get her back, when she was rightfully already his. He’s the kind of man that guys should want to be like, and that’s the image that we see in the book For the Love of a Devil.

Okay, so after I said all of that, it turns out that the woman wasn’t disagreeing with that, she was disagreeing with the statement that Redeeming Love is pastel. It intrigued me to think that we could disagree over something like what color the story of Redeeming Love is. After giving it some thought, I think she might be right. Redeeming Love isn’t pastel. Redeeming Love is more of a pink covered with burgundy lace. But isn’t it strange that we can talk about the color of a story like Redeeming Love and we know what each other is talking about?

The color for the cover of For the Love of a Devil was decided long before the book was written, but I think green is a fitting color. As for shading, I think it turns dark in places. As we move toward the end of the book, that bright green becomes more and more of a forest green and eventually you find yourself in a forest so dark that you wonder if you will get out. It is not unlike how the shading on the cover is. On the front, it is a bright green, but as you turn the book over, it grows darker and darker. But then morning comes. I imagine that last chapter as being an antique white, with white curtains blowing in the breeze.

I’ve got so much more to say about this. We’ll have to pick it up again some other time.