Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Jody Hedlund's The Preacher's Bride ~ Reviewed
The Preacher’s Bride
By Jody Hedlund
Bethany House Publishers
Review by Michelle Griep
No matter the sacrifice, Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family. No matter the danger, John Costin was determined to speak God’s word. Neither expected to fall in love. As enemies threaten to silence Costin—and those close to him—will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?
Read this debut novel by Jody Hedlund and you’ll find out. And a smashing debut it is. Heart wrenching at times, anger provoking at others, this is one read that connects with readers on many different levels.
I especially liked how Hedlund portrayed the harsh realities of seventeenth century life in rural England. She didn’t glam over but met head on tough topics such as infant mortality, death in childbearing and the very real threat of starvation.
Furthermore, she didn’t squirm from tackling difficult theological questions. Does suffering mean God’s not blessing you? What should take priority: ministry or family? There are no easy answers in real life nor in this story.
The complexity of the hero and heroine’s relationship was great. Not just a simple boy meets girl and instantly falls in love, winning said girl. In fact, sometimes I wondered if they’d actually get together.
All in all, this book is a thumbs up, especially for historical lovers.
The Preacher's Bride is a stunning novel of emotional depth, historical detail and overarching hope, its excellence belying its status as author Jody Hedlund's debut novel. Based on the life of evangelist John Bunyan and his faithful wife, Elizabeth, Jody has brought to life a close knit Puritan community, complex and inspiring characters and a story of danger, hope and love. Beautifully rendered, John and Elizabeth's rocky introduction slowly develops into dependency and a burgeoning love that surprises them both. Underlying the love story is the difficult and fascinating history of the Anglican church's battle against the Puritans and their lay preachers. An eye opening story of enduring love and unbending faith, The Preacher's Bride is a keeper and will appeal to readers of Laura Frantz and Liz Curtis Higgs. Jody Hedlund is a brilliant new author whose writing journey I will follow with enthusiasm!
Reviewed by: Rel Mollet