Say the name ‘Francine Rivers’ and most Christian romance readers will begin to gush over her 1991 novel Redeeming Love. Since its publication, Rivers has become a bestseller for her amalgamation of purity and passion. And fans are happy to note that her newest novel The Masterpiece, released on Feb. 6, 2018, follows in its predecessor’s footsteps.
Rivers’s 26th novel features a unique and compelling bad-boy/good-girl narrative. Grace Moore, a single mom looking to support her family, attends church, invests in community, and dreams of getting her college degree. Meanwhile, affluent artist Roman Velasco has a gang background and prickling, emotional walls to defend his lone-wolf status.
When Roman hires Grace as his personal assistant, the two only have intentions to tolerate one another. But when Grace’s presence brings order and friendship to his darkly chaotic life, sparks fly- more so from tempestuous disagreements than from candlelit passion.
The Masterpiece is told through various perspectives and even time periods, sketching Grace and Roman’s testimonies to the present day. Their traumatic childhoods are revealed, serving as connect-the-dots to their individual scars and consequential life-decisions.
“It isn’t only about two broken people trying to find wholeness together,” Rivers penned in a ‘Note from the Author.’ “It’s about where wholeness can be found for each and every one of us. In Christ Jesus. No place else.”
Francine frequently creates characters with uncomfortably messy testimonies. But what separates Grace Moore from previous Francine protagonists is that her resume consists of knowing both the Lord and great sin. “I wanted readers to see how easily we can fall into traps and be seduced by worldly philosophies,” said Rivers.
Grace’s character doesn’t provide permission for readers’ sin, but it paints an unpolished, glory-to-glory Christian. Often, the enemy can pressure us with legalistic perfection post-baptism. Yet it is the continual falling to pieces and turning to the cross that readers can relate to. “I don’t know what to do,” Grace tells a friend at the beginning of the novel. “I don’t want to make any more mistakes.”
The Masterpiece presents enough drama, characterization, and heart-fluttering lines to be considered entertaining. But the pivotal message of the novel lies in the Lord’s never-ending, undaunted, and overwhelming Grace.
In addition to other stand-alone novels, Rivers has penned a collection of series, children’s titles, and even a devotional. For more information, visit her website for a complete set of works.
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