Newton & Polly: A Book Review
Back when we were dating, Jonathan bought me a book about the stories behind well-known hymns and their writers. I loved it, as it gave a whole new depth of meaning to the words I was singing.
So when I saw that Jody Hedlund was writing a book based on the life and love of John Newton, the composer of Amazing Grace, arguably the most well-known hymn of all time, I was eager to get my hands on it! In Newton & Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace, Hedlund brings to life the trials and hardships that shaped Newton's faith and plunges the reader into a richer understanding of the depths of God's grace.
Here's What You Can Expect:
"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."
First, let's talk about this cover--GORGEOUS! I so want that cover model's hair. As for the book itself, it's one that I thoroughly enjoyed, although not what I would call a page-turner. Since the novel is based on real-life events it takes place over an eight year period. With the novel covering such a large chunk of time there were some parts that I felt dragged a little, while on the flip-side I'm amazed by how well Hedlund kept the storyline flowing over such a long period.
In reading the Author's Note at the end of the novel it's apparent just how much research went into the writing of Newton & Polly, to the point that even most of the minor characters mentioned throughout the novel were true. I have so much respect for authors who put that amount of work and passion into their writing, and it clearly shows in this case. I loved learning more about all that John Newton endured and the impact his wife, Polly, had on his conversion to Christianity.
If you love historical romance or want to learn more about the man behind Amazing Grace, then I highly recommend this book!
Check out the video below to listen to one of my favorite versions of Amazing Grace
*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.