The Masterpiece
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship―and both their lives―forever.

The Masterpiece Details

TitleThe Masterpiece
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherTyndale House Publisher
ISBN-139781496407900
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Christian, Contemporary

The Masterpiece Review

  • *TANYA*
    January 1, 1970
    I want to rant and rave about how fantastic this book is, but the right words fail me. It was endearing, realistic, sweet, heart wrenching, and so emotional. Truly a masterpiece, best book I’ve read all year.
  • Nicole Burrell
    January 1, 1970
    Boys meets girl. They fall in love and live happily ever after. So simple, right? Not if Francine Rivers has anything to say about it!For years, Rivers has faithfully produced stories that tug at our heartstrings...works like “A Voice in the Wind” and “When the Shofar Blew”. Most recently, “A Bridge to Haven”. Now, in her book that is set to release in January 2018, she is back and yes, still producing love stories that are both agonizing and glorious.“The Masterpiece” follows two main character Boys meets girl. They fall in love and live happily ever after. So simple, right? Not if Francine Rivers has anything to say about it!For years, Rivers has faithfully produced stories that tug at our heartstrings...works like “A Voice in the Wind” and “When the Shofar Blew”. Most recently, “A Bridge to Haven”. Now, in her book that is set to release in January 2018, she is back and yes, still producing love stories that are both agonizing and glorious.“The Masterpiece” follows two main characters. Roman is an artist with a troubled past who uses anger as a weapon and builds walls to make sure he is never hurt again. Grace is a struggling single mom with an equally complicated history. She chooses to hide from things that scare her, and often finds herself making choices that please others but ultimately harm her. As you would expect, from the very start, Roman and Grace are set on a crash course into...well, each other. But there is so much more to their journey, starting with their separate struggles to understand the role God plays in their lives. “The Masterpiece”, first, is a very enjoyable read. Rivers is an expert at cloaking her stories in mystery, in such a way that you find yourself turning page after page long after you should be asleep. She tells a story that moves quickly, and if the action doesn’t pull you along, the tug on your heart will. Second, though, and just as important, this book felt well-researched. It covers sensitive topics like childhood trauma, drug use, single motherhood, as well as exploring what the life of a graffiti artist is like. All were handled well, all treated with respect and I felt, without cliche. Fans of Rivers may find that a novel set in the present day lacks some of the romantic muscle that, say “A Voice in the Wind” might have. But the characters of Roman and Grace are equal to the beloved names we all know from Rivers: Hadassah and Marcus, Paul and Eunice Hudson, Angel and Michael. You will find yourself rooting for them from the early pages of this novel. And with a heavy dose of spirituality, Rivers takes the book to a place that transcends place and time. Make room on your bookshelf for this one!*Please note that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marnie Krüger
    January 1, 1970
    For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago(Ephesians 2:10). First Sentence: Roman Velasco climbed the fire escape and swung over the wall onto the flat roof.I'm always in awe when I see how God use different types of media and experiences to teach us and show us what He wants from us.Over the years, I've experienced this a lot with most of the books by Francine Rivers.The Masterpiece is no different - showing God For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago(Ephesians 2:10). First Sentence: Roman Velasco climbed the fire escape and swung over the wall onto the flat roof.I'm always in awe when I see how God use different types of media and experiences to teach us and show us what He wants from us.Over the years, I've experienced this a lot with most of the books by Francine Rivers.The Masterpiece is no different - showing God's love, compassion and greater plan for live.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 While I really did want to love Francine River’s latest, like I have so many of her other books, this one fell flat for me. I was intrigued by the idea and the characters, but there were a few other things that made it hard for me to love this one.I thought there were some unnecessary stereotypes with some of the characters and I also wanted her friends to be a bit more than they were. Some were one dimensional and with others, their actions were a bit confusing. Not that characters need to 2.5 While I really did want to love Francine River’s latest, like I have so many of her other books, this one fell flat for me. I was intrigued by the idea and the characters, but there were a few other things that made it hard for me to love this one.I thought there were some unnecessary stereotypes with some of the characters and I also wanted her friends to be a bit more than they were. Some were one dimensional and with others, their actions were a bit confusing. Not that characters need to be the perfect person, but their actions didn’t bring anything to the storyline, so their actions felt out of place. Also, there were some events in Grace’s life early on that were glossed over, but I thought needed more.I also thought it was longer than necessary. I’m all about redemption with characters, but this was a lot more forced-preachy than her previous books and for me, that took away from the story.I appreciated having a character you don’t often see and the role different art plays within communities, but overall I didn’t connect with this novel like I have with other reads.(Thank you to Tyndale for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)
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  • Robin Hatcher
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could give this book a higher rating than 5 stars. It's amazing. My heart was broken and stirred so many times throughout my reading. I was reminded again and again of the ways God has moved in my life. I read as fast as possible to reach the end, and now I am already missing Roman and Grace. Thanks, Francine, for such a beautiful story of love and God's amazing grace.
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  • Amanda Geaney
    January 1, 1970
    One day I was praising the author on Twitter for so clearly explaining the depravity of man and Christ's propitiation for our sin. The next day, I had to withdraw my comment due to the shaky theology I was encountering.1. These characters are constantly speaking to God and hearing definitive answers. Wouldn't that be nice?If it had only happened a time or two, I could have written it off as the "still small voice", but the rate of occurrence was unsettling. It's also interesting to note, these i One day I was praising the author on Twitter for so clearly explaining the depravity of man and Christ's propitiation for our sin. The next day, I had to withdraw my comment due to the shaky theology I was encountering.1. These characters are constantly speaking to God and hearing definitive answers. Wouldn't that be nice?If it had only happened a time or two, I could have written it off as the "still small voice", but the rate of occurrence was unsettling. It's also interesting to note, these instructions from God never come while the character's are reading Scripture. 2. One character receives multiple visits from an angel. I do not deny the existence of angels. However, this visit is like nothing we read in Scripture. Do we ever read of anyone getting a personal friendly angel who comforts them nightly?3. THE ABSOLUTE DEAL BREAKER -- When Roman drops DEAD on the sidewalk, he is ushered into hell by two demons. Once IN hell, he cries out to Jesus who appears as a bright light and takes his hand. Miraculously, Roman is revived and taken to a hospital both for his heart and a demon inflicted wound to his leg (which handicaps him for the remainder of the book).Perhaps at this point, you are questioning whether Roman was really dead. In a later chapter he tells a reporter, "I had a heart attack, died on the sidewalk, and went to hell. Jesus got me out." Chapter 37My thoughts: We are given the opportunity to repent and believe today—while we are living. When we die, it's game over! Jesus does not do special operation rescue missions into the pit of hell. Why I believe this: In the parable of the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) we read, “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’And...I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. (John 3:3)Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them. (John 3:36)Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27)They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Matt 25:44-46)Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Rev 20:11-12)As a new believer, this author's Mark of the Lion Series won me to Christian fiction. She is an exquisite storyteller and I admire her skill. I'm not saying this book is poorly written. However, I do not feel like I can recommend a story in which the plot hinges on Christ descending into hell to save a sinner. To me, if you are a Christian fiction author your purpose should be to glorify God—that can only be accomplished when He and His Word are represented correctly. Theology does matter!
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    Read this review and many more at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for their kindness in allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers.Francine Rivers is a legend in Women's Christian Fiction. Her book Redeeming Love is among my favorite reads of all-time. She has an exquisite way of writing unconditional love and making readers feel her words. I knew many book lovers were anticipating this book and I was eager to get my hands on it li Read this review and many more at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for their kindness in allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers.Francine Rivers is a legend in Women's Christian Fiction. Her book Redeeming Love is among my favorite reads of all-time. She has an exquisite way of writing unconditional love and making readers feel her words. I knew many book lovers were anticipating this book and I was eager to get my hands on it like everyone else! It felt like Divine Intervention when Tyndale contacted me about this upcoming release. I never expected to be one of the lucky people to receive an ARC!Roman Velasco has it all - a successful art career, money, fame, women, and yet, something is missing. When Grace Moore is hired as his last available resort for his personal assistant position, he doesn't expect his life to change drastically. With Grace's close proximity, the cracks in Roman's armor slowly become apparent. His lavish lifestyle can't hide the most important piece Roman is missing. And while he is difficult to work for and be around, Grace is desperate to provide for herself and accomplish the dreams she has put off for years. Through broken pasts and years of heartache, Roman and Grace are unexpectedly able to connect in ways they never imagined.Alternating between past and present perspectives, readers are able to fully grasp the depth of the characters Francine Rivers was able to create. Though Roman and Grace seemed worlds apart in their personalities, they faced similar challenges growing up and learned to cope in their own respective ways. Roman turned to art and material possessions and Grace turned to God. The fruits of their lives were made evident by the things they valued.I found myself eager to read about Roman as the story went on. He was gruff and hard around the edges, but from the get-go, it was easy to see he had a good heart. He was developed so well that I felt as if I knew him personally, and could imagine people I know in my real-life similar to him. Though my own life is quite different than Roman's, I found him to be the easiest character to relate to. He was broken, hard, and rough, but he was real.Grace, on the other hand, seemed kind, wonderful, and driven. Of course, she still faced her share of challenges and brokenness, but her inner voice and the voices of her friends were beyond compare. Though I share her love of God and similarities with her character and even liked her, I struggled in relating to her. I think she seemed almost too good to be true.This was a well-developed story and an enjoyable read, garnering a hard-earned 4-star rating. The main plot twist caught me off guard and I loved seeing the Supernatural elements added to the story. I was impressed with the turnaround and growth of the characters, along with the bits of Faith sprinkled in throughout. I really enjoyed one explanation about a character being Saved but not yet a follower of Christ. This was the first time I had thought of someone being on those particular terms with God before and was even able to recognize part of my past from that perspective. Such a simple sentence was a true eye opener for me! My favorite part of the entire book was the author's note at the conclusion. It served as a great explanation for the story and was a heartfelt piece of writing to wrap up the novel nicely. The Masterpiece is a great look at a modern Christian relationship and can serve as an encourager for women of faith. I must admit, I don't often read Christian fiction, though a Christian myself, as I've found the stories in my experience often give a sugarcoated look at life and love. However, my last two reads have been highly enjoyable stories, both from Tyndale Publishing, making me eager to read more of the books in their collection. Fans of Francine Rivers will undoubtedly love The Masterpiece, but I hope others, like myself, who maybe don't pick up this specific genre often will step out of their comfort zones and give this book a try. Pre-order this beauty now or pick it up upon its release on February 6th.
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  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    I am still in a book fog after reading The Masterpiece.It was such a moving love story and Rivers has really done her research on art part of the book. She tells about that at the end of the book. The characters were strong and the storyline remarkable. I loved the way it all turns out, I was on the fence for a while.I challenge you to put this down once you start reading it. I think it will be one you read without realizing you have read the book in one evening. Rivers has done it again another I am still in a book fog after reading The Masterpiece.It was such a moving love story and Rivers has really done her research on art part of the book. She tells about that at the end of the book. The characters were strong and the storyline remarkable. I loved the way it all turns out, I was on the fence for a while.I challenge you to put this down once you start reading it. I think it will be one you read without realizing you have read the book in one evening. Rivers has done it again another New York Times list winner.I gave this book 5 stars two times and I HIGHLY recommend it.The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
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  • Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    I've only read Redeeming Love and the Marta's Legacy books by Ms. Rivers. Her work is amazing with those books. They have all the feels within them and just make you want to come back for more. So, when I saw she was releasing The Masterpiece, I didn't pass on it. I was anxious to be taken to a writing style that only Ms. Rivers knows how to do. I was absolutely pleased with all that I felt with this book! This book has amazing characters. Roman and Grace are created with such depth and complexi I've only read Redeeming Love and the Marta's Legacy books by Ms. Rivers. Her work is amazing with those books. They have all the feels within them and just make you want to come back for more. So, when I saw she was releasing The Masterpiece, I didn't pass on it. I was anxious to be taken to a writing style that only Ms. Rivers knows how to do. I was absolutely pleased with all that I felt with this book! This book has amazing characters. Roman and Grace are created with such depth and complexity. They were true-to-life and really nestled into my soul. The way they interacted, the way their story unfolds on the pages, really shined for me. As someone who was in Honors Art 4 for four years of highschool, I always fall for books that center around the world of art. I could feel Roman's artistic ways flow freely off the pages. And Grace, being a single mom, really nudged at me. I love when I connect with the characters on a deeper level. This book is beyond 5 stars. I wasn't able to put it down once I picked it up. The pages kept turning, the feelings kept being felt. I smiled, I cried, I smiled again. The inspiration that Ms. Rivers weaves into this romance novel is incredible. It really brings to light the ultimate Masterpiece from above. If you are looking for a book that will be easy reading, this isn't for you. If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh throughout, this isn't for you. If you are looking for a book that will sweep you off your feet, spin you in a million directions, twist your soul, and throw you down with a bam, this is absolutely the book for you. You'll think about this book long after you've closed the cover. Well done, Ms. Rivers! Fantabulous job! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Publisher/Tyndale Blog Network and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
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  • Maddy
    January 1, 1970
    This was beautiful.
  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    I was hesitant to read The Masterpiece after being disappointed in A Bridge to Haven. I have very much enjoyed Francine River’s other novels so decided to try her latest release.The story of two adults from difficult childhoods was certainly compelling. I felt my heart breaking for both Roman and Grace. It’s a beautiful story of character and spiritual development. I didn’t warm up to Aunt Elizabeth despite knowing why she behaved the way she did. I am thankful for people such as Chet, Brian and I was hesitant to read The Masterpiece after being disappointed in A Bridge to Haven. I have very much enjoyed Francine River’s other novels so decided to try her latest release.The story of two adults from difficult childhoods was certainly compelling. I felt my heart breaking for both Roman and Grace. It’s a beautiful story of character and spiritual development. I didn’t warm up to Aunt Elizabeth despite knowing why she behaved the way she did. I am thankful for people such as Chet, Brian and others in the pages that exist in the world.The backstory about the cover adds so much to this novel.“For we are God’s masterpiece...” Ephesians 2:10
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars--Top PickThe long wait between Francine Rivers' novels is well worth it when the final page of this book is turned. Richly detailed characters with traumatic pasts are woven together with Biblical truths and redemptive themes. On the surface, this seems like a very basic romance, but when the layers are peeled back, each of the characters' choices in the past and present are thoughtfully explored. As Roman and Grace learn about each other, the reader, too, learns about them as glimpses 4.5 stars--Top PickThe long wait between Francine Rivers' novels is well worth it when the final page of this book is turned. Richly detailed characters with traumatic pasts are woven together with Biblical truths and redemptive themes. On the surface, this seems like a very basic romance, but when the layers are peeled back, each of the characters' choices in the past and present are thoughtfully explored. As Roman and Grace learn about each other, the reader, too, learns about them as glimpses into their lives are revealed carefully as they relate to current experiences. This is an amazing, beautifully written tale to be savored and pondered and shared with others.Roman Velasco has overcome a tumultuous past to become a successful artist in LA — complete with a mansion and more money than he can spend. His prickly personality keeps him from growing too close to others, and it also makes it difficult to find a personal assistant willing to put up with him. Grace Moore is desperate for a job in order to support herself and her young son. The employment agency places her with Roman, and she begins to run his business with superb efficiency, yet she doesn't get close to him and he doesn't really approach her. As the two get to know each other and forge a tentative friendship, they begin to reveal parts of themselves that they have kept hidden for a long time. Yet it's going to take more than just friendship to break through the pain they have both endured. They will each need to learn how to yield to a Savior who can make them whole. https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-re...
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Nope. Can’t do it. Francine Rivers used to be the only Christian fiction writer I could tolerate (LOVED her Mark of the Lion series) but I haven’t enjoyed her last few books and this one is no exception. Firstly, it’s ridiculously predictable. Troubled unbeliever artist with a past falls for mostly-good girl Christian after not liking each other to start with. Of course, he’s hot and she’s gorgeous. Secondly, the story falls into typical Christian fiction stereotypes, in particular, the obligato Nope. Can’t do it. Francine Rivers used to be the only Christian fiction writer I could tolerate (LOVED her Mark of the Lion series) but I haven’t enjoyed her last few books and this one is no exception. Firstly, it’s ridiculously predictable. Troubled unbeliever artist with a past falls for mostly-good girl Christian after not liking each other to start with. Of course, he’s hot and she’s gorgeous. Secondly, the story falls into typical Christian fiction stereotypes, in particular, the obligatory conversion experience. The Christian character dates a youth pastor, only has art depicting Jesus on her walls, tells the bad boy artist she has a “thing for Jesus”. The bad boy artist is, of course, a drinker, partier, promiscuous and antagonistic towards Christ. And then! {SPOILER} Then we have the part where Roman has a heart attack and is tormented by DEMONS while unconscious but he is saved by Jesus himself and brought back to life and is, of course, now a believer. Voilà Ridiculous Conversion Experience. And with that, I’m done.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I even begin? There are many many issues with this book. They fall into two loose categories: mechanical and theological. I’ll begin with mechanical:I understand that, as a novelist myself, I can be critical when it comes to storytelling. That said, I don’t believe I’m being too nit-picky when I say this book was contrived and full of loose ends and unnecessary, flat characters. There are too many issues to name them all but I’ll list my top:At the heart of my issues with the characters Where do I even begin? There are many many issues with this book. They fall into two loose categories: mechanical and theological. I’ll begin with mechanical:I understand that, as a novelist myself, I can be critical when it comes to storytelling. That said, I don’t believe I’m being too nit-picky when I say this book was contrived and full of loose ends and unnecessary, flat characters. There are too many issues to name them all but I’ll list my top:At the heart of my issues with the characters was the fact that I couldn’t root for the main couple. Not only were they flat but their story arc was utterly unconvincing to me. You’re telling me that a guy who looks like a model is going to be interested in a woman who is only a few months postpartum? Uh yeah, I don’t think so. Also, the fact that he is her EMPLOYER and makes up a road trip to get close to her was unsettling to me. At one point, he even INSISTS she goes swimming with him even though she is uncomfortable doing so and goes so far as to buy her a swimsuit. I did NOT find this romantic, and honestly shame on the author for asking me to view it as such. Any situation where a man in power uses that power to get a woman to do what he wants is NOT romantic, it is WRONG. Let me repeat this, because it is SO important and such a problem with romance fiction in general: a situation in which a woman is asked to do something she is uncomfortable with is NOT romantic and it is NOT okay. As a device, the road trip was supposed to be the turning point in the main characters’ relationship, and I couldn’t view it the way the author was asking me to view it. And then there are the pretty little bows on just about every single plot point. Every little thing works out in the end. Even things I wasn’t curious about or didn’t need to know about, I was told about ad nauseam.If a plot point wasn’t wrapped up with a pretty little bow, it was left glaringly dangling, like the painting Roman makes for Grace that is such a big turning point for him in his art but is never finished or given to Grace or even mentioned again. There are more mechanical issues, but I will leave it at that. And now theological:I was a little wary when there was repeated mention of an angel visiting seven-year-old Grace, but what really threw up the red flag for me was the fact that Roman dies and goes to hell and then is saved by Jesus. There is a glaring inconsistency with the way this is treated. Sometimes the author refers to Roman’s episode as a “near-death experience” but then other times the author explicitly states that Roman DIED and actually went to hell. There is a huge difference between the two, but considering that we’re told numerous times that Roman actually dies, I find the theology truly concerning here. You do not come back from hell. This is truly upsetting content from an author I have long admired. If she intended this to be more of a near-death experience there needed to be some serious editing because as it stands you have Roman on a conveyor belt (yes, she describes it as a conveyor belt) into hell with demons who drag him there. Roman even has a lasting wound from the demons. Please hear this: there are NO rescue missions into hell. Please read Luke 16:19-31 for clear teachings about the reality of hell and its permanence. There is no going back and forth. There is no conveyor belt from which you can be snatched. Please please read the living Word of God and inform yourself on what it says about this crucial point!Final thoughts: I will not be reading anymore Francine Rivers. I will always have a fond place in my heart for her Mark of the Lion trilogy and Redeeming Love, but after this I don’t know that I can even recommend her books to others. Mechanically and theologically this is a deeply flawed book and I’m afraid that it gives a horribly wrong impression of the afterlife. The theological issues were clearest toward the end of the book, so by that time I just kept reading since I’d come so far. There’s something to glean from everything we read and in this case I’m gleaning what NOT to do in my own writing. And I’m also gleaning how incredibly important it is to know and love the Word of God. Rightly dividing the Word of truth means sticking to the revealed Word of God. It is so sufficient, friends! Nothing need be added to it! I understand the lure of speculation, but when imagination collides with clear scriptural teaching, we stand on the Word of God!
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  • Stefanie
    January 1, 1970
    First word that comes to my mind? Wow!Francine Rivers has always been a favorite of mine. The Atonement Child and Redeeming Love two of my absolute favorites from her. The Masterpiece though... it has snuck up to the top and settled in my heart as one of her best, if not the best I’ve read by her. And this is coming from the girl that never thought she’d top Redeeming Love.The Masterpiece is a beautifully woven story of redemption. Roman and Grace, both from childhood backgrounds or devastation, First word that comes to my mind? Wow!Francine Rivers has always been a favorite of mine. The Atonement Child and Redeeming Love two of my absolute favorites from her. The Masterpiece though... it has snuck up to the top and settled in my heart as one of her best, if not the best I’ve read by her. And this is coming from the girl that never thought she’d top Redeeming Love.The Masterpiece is a beautifully woven story of redemption. Roman and Grace, both from childhood backgrounds or devastation, loss, abuse, fear, and anger, try to get through life as best as humanly possible.Grace finds her love and identity in Christ at a young age, but that doesn’t mean her life becomes peachy and easy-breezy. She struggles, she makes devastating choices, she suffers and she bleeds out in fear and humiliation. She knows she’s sinned and feels worthless in God’s eyes, even though she knows He still loves her. She looks to right her wrongs, but is scared to put herself out there.Roman on the other hand is as far from Christ as you can get. A member of a gang as a teenager, a man running from the law. A well-renowned artist in the daylight, and a graffiti artist in the dark of night. He’s the bad boy, in all literacy of that term. He’s self-centered and filled with anger and hatred from a past he can’t seem to get away from.Grace comes to work for him as his personal assistant. They set off on a very rocky start, but it’s the flow of grace that God begins that makes this story so beautiful.Now, Francine Rivers is a favorite of mine because as a Christian author she is REAL. She does not hold back, she does not fluff her characters with unrelatable, goody-two-shoes, personalities. Because let’s face it. There is no such thing as a Christian living the perfect life with no temptations and no hardships. It’s not real. Francine has been given some flack for using language that would be considered rough and not right for Christian fiction. But you know what? It’s why I love her writing. It’s how I relate to her stories. It’s why when I grabbed this book, The Masterpiece, I shed tears, I felt the hurt, and I rejoiced in the moment of redemption because I know what that feels like. When I finished this book and closed the pages my heart felt light. It allowed me to know that in this world of darkness there is hope and a road to redemption. I applaud Rivers for writing this one and I’m telling you to run, not walk, and get your copy! You will not be disappointed!
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    After reading quite a few rave reviews about The Masterpiece, I decided to request it at my local library and give it a go. I am so glad that I did! This book was really large physically and was actually quite a long story at 484 pages in my library copy. Well, I devoured it in one weekend! I could not stop reading Roman and Grace’s story.I was captivated by these characters. They had been through so much in their tragic pasts. I was equally enthralled with both the flashbacks and with the prese After reading quite a few rave reviews about The Masterpiece, I decided to request it at my local library and give it a go. I am so glad that I did! This book was really large physically and was actually quite a long story at 484 pages in my library copy. Well, I devoured it in one weekend! I could not stop reading Roman and Grace’s story.I was captivated by these characters. They had been through so much in their tragic pasts. I was equally enthralled with both the flashbacks and with the present storyline. I thought that the author did a very good job of representing Roman, a nonbeliever who came from a very rough beginning. I also found Grace extremely interesting. She was a Christian, but had used bad judgment and followed worldly desires at certain times in her life. Sometimes she had trouble letting go of the guilt associated with those decisions.I enjoyed this story so much and will definitely plan to read it again some time in the future.You can read this review on my blog:https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...
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  • Dana Michael
    January 1, 1970
    500 Pages of a MasterpieceWow! I am speechless. I have no words to describe how I feel. I just finished this amazing book and can say this is one of the best books I have ever read. I never once wanted to put this book down. I was hooked from page one. This story tells of two people who are starved for love. One a former street hardened gang tagger and one a beautiful, sweet, single mom. I loved the story line and I loved the ending. This is another beautifully God inspired work by Mrs. Rivers.
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  • Linda Klager
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful book! Francine Rivers is an excellent writer. The cover of the book was very intriguing to me. In the back of the book is an explanation of how this cover came to be.The events in this story were very current to the times today. The two main characters, Roman and Grace had so many obstacles in their lives. Even though I suspected it, I learned how dangerous a life can be when influenced by a gang. Also, how dangerous and deadly it is to take drugs. Roman was exposed to these bad What a wonderful book! Francine Rivers is an excellent writer. The cover of the book was very intriguing to me. In the back of the book is an explanation of how this cover came to be.The events in this story were very current to the times today. The two main characters, Roman and Grace had so many obstacles in their lives. Even though I suspected it, I learned how dangerous a life can be when influenced by a gang. Also, how dangerous and deadly it is to take drugs. Roman was exposed to these bad things as a young boy.Grace was exposed to an abusive father and a submissive mother. This led to a very dangerous situation in her young life.Thank you, Francine Rivers, for a very fascinating read. I highly recommend to read this book. Lovers of Christian fiction will enjoy this book.
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  • Hayden L
    January 1, 1970
    1st half, 1 star. 2nd half, 2.5 starsI am not necessarily a Francine Rivers fan so I am in the minority here. I have only read one other book (Redeeming Love, 4 stars), but after this PG soap opera, I may not pick up any of her titles ever again. The melodramatic style is not for me. Some major turn-offs include Grace's stereotypical band of single girlfriends, I hope I don't interject 'Girl..' into my sentences this frequently. What modern Christian young woman has actual pictures portraying Je 1st half, 1 star. 2nd half, 2.5 starsI am not necessarily a Francine Rivers fan so I am in the minority here. I have only read one other book (Redeeming Love, 4 stars), but after this PG soap opera, I may not pick up any of her titles ever again. The melodramatic style is not for me. Some major turn-offs include Grace's stereotypical band of single girlfriends, I hope I don't interject 'Girl..' into my sentences this frequently. What modern Christian young woman has actual pictures portraying Jesus framed on her wall? Not 1, but two!? I know 0. The scripture is common, not the 'thing for Middle Eastern men.' I could go on and on but I am eager to forget it all. Just before halfway through, I quit reading the flashbacks. At this point we are beating the dead horse. We get it, they're broken, the book is WAY too long, let's move on. Unless you are a die hard Christian fiction, cheesy romance novel, or #1 Rivers fan, I would move on too.
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  • Ellen B.
    January 1, 1970
    I must confess, I was a little bit apprehensive about reading this book once I found out the author was a born again Christian. After the first 30 pages I was sucked in. The main characters are so well developed and their stories compelling. I couldn’t put the book down. The religious stuff gets heavier in the last 100 pages but for a non Christian it was interesting to see the strength of “believers”
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  • Jerry
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me a while to read...but it was worth it! A touching story of overcoming adversity.
  • bella ϟ [ bella farren ]
    January 1, 1970
    dnf'd @ 20%This, unfortunately, was one of the worst books I have attempted to read in a long time. Within the first few chapters I was already battling against myself to keep listening, so I picked up the physical book which did not help the situation. By 12% I was hanging on by a thread, I wanted to finish this book so I could actually rate it the 1 star it deserved.BUT . . . As you can obviously see, I didn't make it through, so there will be no rating so I don't get hate comments about ratin dnf'd @ 20%This, unfortunately, was one of the worst books I have attempted to read in a long time. Within the first few chapters I was already battling against myself to keep listening, so I picked up the physical book which did not help the situation. By 12% I was hanging on by a thread, I wanted to finish this book so I could actually rate it the 1 star it deserved.BUT . . . As you can obviously see, I didn't make it through, so there will be no rating so I don't get hate comments about rating a book without finishing it and blah blah. I just could not hang on any longer. The main character Grace, was the most irritating and unintelligent human being I have had the displeasure of reading about. Could not make a decision without her girl posse (to clarify, I am not against bouncing ideas off trusted friends, but she came across as a person who could not wipe their bum without outside help) and was blatantly judgemental towards others (ahem, her boss).And strangely enough, I couldn't stomach Grace's docile like personality, which is unusual because unlike a lot of readers, I tend to like quiet female characters. But that could quite possibly have to do with the fact she was docile with an over-zealous helping of passive-aggressive, which is never cute, sweetie. Grace grated on nerves I didn't even know I possessed, she had no backbone and just continuously cried about the fact she was a bad mother. I honestly didn't feel like I cared much about Ronan, which by 20% and multiple POV chapters, I should have. He was just a meh character who had an interesting past, but boring current life. I did not care about his tortured artist's soul, his lazy attitude and 'don't give a crap' outlook. But the main reason I put this down? The thought of these characters together (as this is a romance) made me want to cringe.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    5 wonderful stars for this one! It’s been 4 yrs since I’ve read a Francine Rivers novel and I have really missed her writing. This was sooooo good. I felt like she was telling my story. My childhood was filled with drugs, alcohol, physical and mental abuse. My testimony was similar in so many ways. I was a runaway teenager living in LA with a stripper when I finally said yes to Christ. If you love the Lord and live in grace, then you’ll love this story as much as I do. The romance and character 5 wonderful stars for this one! It’s been 4 yrs since I’ve read a Francine Rivers novel and I have really missed her writing. This was sooooo good. I felt like she was telling my story. My childhood was filled with drugs, alcohol, physical and mental abuse. My testimony was similar in so many ways. I was a runaway teenager living in LA with a stripper when I finally said yes to Christ. If you love the Lord and live in grace, then you’ll love this story as much as I do. The romance and character interaction is the best I’ve read and you’ll not be disappointed. Happy Reading! ❤️
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  • Doretha
    January 1, 1970
    I translated this book into Afrikaans and what a privilege it has been. Another fantastic book by one of my favorite authors. Loved the honesty of the characters' struggles and seeing that dependence on God alone will always lead to the blessings He has for us.
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  • LaMesha
    January 1, 1970
    This was a solid 4 star read for me until I read the "Note from the Author". Soooo beautiful. Her words resignated with me. After she broke down the true meaning of the novel, I then realized that it is indeed a "Masterpiece ".
  • Carla Corinne
    January 1, 1970
    Not my favorite Francine Rivers book. And maybe it's not entirely the books fault. I would categorize this book as a romance, and I'm not usually into romances. Not enough of an interesting plot for me. This is the story of Roman Velasco, a temperamental bad-boy artist with a tragic history, who was able to rise up from his life of foster homes and graffiti art on the streets to become a successful and famous, though rather quirky, muralist. Enter Grace Moore, his new personal assistant. A Chris Not my favorite Francine Rivers book. And maybe it's not entirely the books fault. I would categorize this book as a romance, and I'm not usually into romances. Not enough of an interesting plot for me. This is the story of Roman Velasco, a temperamental bad-boy artist with a tragic history, who was able to rise up from his life of foster homes and graffiti art on the streets to become a successful and famous, though rather quirky, muralist. Enter Grace Moore, his new personal assistant. A Christian, but with an equally dark and tragic history. She has just come out of a divorce and is struggling to raise an infant son and make ends meet. Spoiler: they fall in love. Spoiler: They clash in every way imaginable. Nothing much happened. There is lots of sexual tension, uncovering dark (but predictable) histories, lots of praying for guidance. For like, 500 pages. It was a decent story, though I was bored with the last 150 pages and wanted them to decide they loved Jesus and loved each other already, for crying out loud! There WAS a kind of crazy twist at the end that blew my mind a little bit, so I'm glad I read all the way to the end.3 stars. Wasn't too bad, just wasn't really my thing.
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  • Carrie Turansky
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to the audio version of The Materpiece and I truly enjoyed the story. Francine Rivers did an excellent job creating the characters and designing plot as well as weaving in a very meaningful spiritual message. Very well done and highly recommended.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book last Friday and I cannot stop thinking about it. In fact, I have likely referenced it several times this last week. The storyline, while nothing unique, brings completely flawed characters that judge one another as being something they are not in the beginning. I loved seeing the journey of the raw characters, woven throughout the story, while still leaving you with a few unanswered questions, just as life tends to do. I am not an artist, have never really gotten the appeal of t I read this book last Friday and I cannot stop thinking about it. In fact, I have likely referenced it several times this last week. The storyline, while nothing unique, brings completely flawed characters that judge one another as being something they are not in the beginning. I loved seeing the journey of the raw characters, woven throughout the story, while still leaving you with a few unanswered questions, just as life tends to do. I am not an artist, have never really gotten the appeal of tagging, and yet, I was able to relate to both characters, in totally different ways, and yet, get the heart of their pain. Please note, it does discuss foster care, drug use and a few other key elements, but nothing is graphic. It is a Christian fiction book, so while one of the main characters is proclaimed atheist most of the book, it also discusses the problems that are front and present in Christianity. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy a read that will challenge them and make you think.
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  • Vannetta Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    This is only my second book to read by Francine Rivers. I very much enjoyed the unique story line. Interestingly enough, it was the back story of the hero that I found most compelling. I also liked how the problems weren't resolved instantly--both characters were a "work in progress," and change was something that took time.At 512 pages in the hardcover edition, I felt the story was repetitious in places, which is my reason for a 4 instead of a 5. Impatient readers may skip a few scenes that the This is only my second book to read by Francine Rivers. I very much enjoyed the unique story line. Interestingly enough, it was the back story of the hero that I found most compelling. I also liked how the problems weren't resolved instantly--both characters were a "work in progress," and change was something that took time.At 512 pages in the hardcover edition, I felt the story was repetitious in places, which is my reason for a 4 instead of a 5. Impatient readers may skip a few scenes that they've already witnessed through the eyes of a different character. But overall this is an excellent story of grace and redemption, and I highly recommend it.
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  • Fiction Aficionado
    January 1, 1970
    It’s kind of daunting to consider what to say in this review, knowing that many readers have been disappointed in Ms. Rivers’ latest offering from both a craft and a theological perspective. Because the honest truth is, I couldn’t put it down. It’s our book club pick this month, and book club was last Friday. I picked it up on Tuesday to give myself plenty of time to read it and put it down at 1am Wednesday morning, having been unable to put it aside except to carry out the absolute necessities. It’s kind of daunting to consider what to say in this review, knowing that many readers have been disappointed in Ms. Rivers’ latest offering from both a craft and a theological perspective. Because the honest truth is, I couldn’t put it down. It’s our book club pick this month, and book club was last Friday. I picked it up on Tuesday to give myself plenty of time to read it and put it down at 1am Wednesday morning, having been unable to put it aside except to carry out the absolute necessities.I feel I should say that I picked this up without any prior experience of this author’s novels. Shocking, I know! It hasn’t been a conscious decision on my behalf, and I certainly want to read her much-lauded titles like Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion series; I just don’t seem to have gotten around to it yet. So whereas readers have mentioned the characters and writing not being up to par with her previous stories, I had no comparison to make.Personally, I found Roman and Grace to be fascinating characters whose life experiences were so far removed from mine that I didn’t feel qualified to question whether they were ‘believable’. There’s a part of me that rather wishes they hadn’t been, because their stories aren’t pretty, but that was part of what made them so compelling—and had me in tears on occasion. And if some of their traits occasionally came across as a little stereotypical (bad boy/good girl comparisons), their characters were actually far more complex than these occasional outward manifestations suggested. And to be honest, stereotypes exist for a reason, and in this case, these characteristics seemed true to the characters.Having read several reviews of this book when it initially released, I was already aware of some of the theological objections readers have made to parts of the story. And fair warning, I can’t talk about this without it being a bit of a spoiler, so if you absolutely hate knowing anything about the story before you read, you’ll want to skip to the last paragraph. However, I will keep my references to the plot as general as possible.(view spoiler)[One of the characters in the novel has a near-death experience (which, contrary to its name, often involves the character being clinically dead for a short period of time, not just “near death”). During that near-death experience, this character is accosted by demons and dragged toward hell, but is then saved (in a purely physical sense) by calling on the name of Jesus. My initial reaction was the same as many—doubt as to whether this was a theologically accurate, or even a theologically responsible, plot device. And talk about deus ex machina! However, I kept reading. One, because I was far too invested to stop by then, and two, because it became apparent that, while the character had been physically saved, there was still quite a journey to go before the character was spiritually saved. And it must be said, the character’s journey after this pivotal moment completely overturned any idea that this was a dramatic but ultimately shallow plot device.Once I had finished the novel, I read the author’s notes and was interested to discover that research had showed her that there are many reports of near-death experiences that are not full of light and joy (which are the experiences more often reported), but are instead horrific and terrifying, just as this character’s had been. I did a bit of my own research, and while I hardly know what to make of it all, it cannot be denied that there are people out there who have turned their lives around (including leaving an active homosexual lifestyle) as the result of an experience such as the one depicted in this book.Whatever the explanation may be behind these kinds of experiences, they are obviously very real to the people who have had them. Many theories have been put forth, from simple scientific explanations to dreams or visions right through to a metaphysical experience that we can’t even begin to understand. So putting aside for the moment the question of what causes the phenomenon we call a “near-death experience”, I am left with the following observations:1. The near-death experience in this novel is inline with the Bible’s teaching that we have a soul that is separate to our physical body.2. The near-death experience in this novel confirms the Bible’s teaching that hell exists and that there is a penalty for sin.3. Through this near-death experience, the character learns two foundational Biblical truths: only calling on the name of Christ can save one from eternal punishment, and the character had done nothing to warrant such mercy and grace.4. Though the character was physically saved from death, spiritual salvation required a deliberate decision by the character to “get right with God” and become a Christ follower—something which took the character time to work through and also formed part of the story. (hide spoiler)]I know this has been a lengthy review, but I wanted to acknowledge that I have grappled with the same issues as many other readers, but ultimately given this book a higher rating because (a) I really and truly could not put it down; (b) it challenged me intellectually and spiritually; and (c) it is a powerful story of unmerited grace and the healing and wholeness that can only be found in Christ.
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