Love in a Broken Vessel

Written by Mesu Andrews
Review by Michael I. Shoop

When the prophet Hosea was told by Yahweh to marry a prostitute, he never imagined the outcome. Accompanied by the elder prophet Jonah, Hosea found his childhood playmate, Gomer, working in Samaria as a prostitute, abused and unloved. Hosea offered her an escape from her sinful existence, and she agreed, in love with Hosea, but viewing herself unworthy of that love. However, just as Israel is given many chances by Yahweh to abandon its wickedness and return to the fold, the damaged Gomer, resentful of Hosea’s many prolonged absences in Yahweh’s service, is continually given chances to lead a godlier life and repeatedly rebuffs them. Andrews, using the biblical story as her guide, is adept at showing how even those who are offered second chances continue making bad choices when they believe themselves unworthy. It’s only after years of anger and pain and with Hosea’s patience and love that true understanding dawns on Gomer and a life of happiness begins. With her excellent storytelling skills and historical detail, the author provides an engrossing and believable take on the biblical story with its universal themes of forgiveness, love, and redemption.