Historical Fiction

Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund

newtonandpollybestof2016Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

My Thoughts

As a book lover with a “to-read” pile that will likely outlast my time on earth, I seldom re-read books due to an overwhelming desire to conquer my tbr. However, Jody Hedlund has given Newton & Polly that little something extra that earns it a spot on my permanent bookshelf. Captivating and memorable; it has enough details to satiate history buffs, a sweet romance, and an outstanding story of God’s pursuit of one sinner which would be unbelievable if it weren’t rooted in reality.

John Newton’s life exemplifies that of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). In reflection, I can see how Hedlund instilled in me a fondness for John even while he was making small, seemingly insignificant, poor choices. I found some of his actions endearing because his heart for Polly was overriding his sense of reason. Nevertheless, as his sins became more egregious my affinity for him waned and his suitability for Polly came into question. I could feel Hedlund building towards a monumental event. At the climax of the story I was both relieved and elated —  completely invested in the tale.

With Newton & Polly, Jody Hedlund secures a place on my Best of 2016 reading list as well as a Christian Shelf-Esteem book club endorsement. #ReadGoodBooks #ShelfEsteem

I received a free copy from the publisher (BloggingforBooks.com). All opinions are my own.

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