Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Newton & Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund

Book description: 

Amazing 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 review:

 I've never read anything by this author before, but I thought this sounded like it would be a great read. I love the song Amazing Grace, and John Newton's story has always intrigued me.

 As with any historical novel, there is fact and fiction. The author made a very helpful list of what was fact and fiction at the end of the book. I have heard and read some of Newton's story before, and felt she did a great job of weaving the fictional parts with those that are not fictional. I saw Newton in ways I had not before, and struggled between liking and not liking him.

 The romantic aspect was new to me, at least that I can remember of.

 As I said, I have never read anything by Hedlund, but I enjoyed her writing style.

  I did enjoy the book a lot, and came away with a new appreciation for this great hymn that is still so popular today. Great job, Jody on portraying the story of John Newton and Amazing Grace so well.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Newton & Polly is available from Waterbook/Multnomah Pubishing

Thanks to Waterbook/Multnomah for the review copy.