Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review - The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund

The Preacher's Bride   Hedlund's debut novel is no light-hearted romp through history. Instead, this double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest for unpublished writers takes on 1650s England during the final days of Cromwell's reign. The Puritans had enjoyed years of freedom, but as Royalists begin to regain power, preachers like John Costin face danger. Costin's wife dies, leaving four children behind, one of them blind and another, newborn. Elizabeth Whitbread, who sees children in need, volunteers to become Costin's housekeeper. She comes to love the children and, eventually, John, yet she is bound by strict Puritan standards and her promise to marry another. Elizabeth faces the threats of a Royalist, the rebukes of powerful Puritans, and the turmoil of her feelings as political events threaten all she holds dear. Hedlund, who based her tale on the life of John Bunyan, writes well of life in Puritan England, though the middle drags and readers will become annoyed with the stubbornness of Costin. Yet this is a fine beginning for a writer we'll hear from again.
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Highly recommend this book! A compelling family drama set in England 1650's. John Costin loses his wife and a mother of 3 children, 1 of which is a newborn baby. Someone needs to care for the children while John is gone to spread the word of God. Elizabeth comes to the rescue and ends up in terribly danger and she also ends up falling in love with the Preacher! I read this in about 2 days, it was so good!

About the author: (From Amazon)

Jody Hedlund is an author of inspirational historical romances, represented by Rachelle Gardner of Word Serve Literary. Her first book, The Preacher's Bride (Bethany House Publishers), is releasing in the fall of 2010.
As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop. Sometimes her family thinks her fingers are super-glued to the keyboard, but in reality she usually finds her writing time in the wee hours of the morning and then for a couple of hours in the afternoon when done with school. She views writing as God's gift to her--a creative outlet that helps bring fresh energy to her parenting.
She's living testimony that amidst the crazy chaos of running a large family, it's still possible to squeeze in time for writing and fulfill the dream of publication. She chronicles both the joys and difficulties of her journey toward publication on her blog, Author Jody Hedlund:
She's also on Facebook.

 Life Lessons blog is having a  giveaway for a signed copy of  The Preachers Bride !


Keli Gwyn said...

Natalie, I enjoyed reading The Preacher's Bride and devoured it in two sittings, staying up into the wee hours to finish it. For me, the story was a page-turner from start to finish. I agree that Costin is stubborn. That's why I wanted to see how he changed through the course of the story because he definitely needed to do some changing. :-)

I've been privileged to read Jody's second book, The Doctor's Lady, in manuscript form. Her readers are in for another treat when the book releases in 2011.

Jody Hedlund said...

Thank you for your lovely review, Natalie! I appreciate it!

mike draper said...

I enjoyed your review. It seems that Cromwell's time in England was pretty tough.
Glad the author received some recognition for her work.
Mike Draper