Sunday, November 6, 2016

Story behind the song -- Newton & Polly

Newton & Polly is my first read by Jody Hedlund, but I don't plan for it to be my last. 

The fact that Amazing Grace is my all-time favorite hymn drew me to the story.  I knew a little of the background of John Newton but had never heard of Polly who helped guide him to a knowledge of the love and care of a gracious God.

     "It sounds to me like God has 
      intervened in your life in
      each of the occasions, 
      miraculously saving you from death.
      Perhaps he deemed that your time on earth isn't finished, 
      that he has more in store for you yet in this life."

In a note at the end of the book, Jody shares that her story is based on extensive research and contains a great amount of factual information.  It is a work of fiction, however, and has been written with creative license to craft an engaging story.

The characters and events -- both real and fictional -- keep the story moving at a very enjoyable pace.  The details give interesting insight into the time and place where John and Polly lived. Fans of great historical fiction should enjoy this intriguing story behind th well-known hymn. 

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of the book.  The comments in this review are my own thoughts.

About the Book:

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.

About the Author:

Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling and award-winning author of fourteen books. Among a variety of genres, she especially loves bringing long-forgotten women of history to life. She is the author of Luther and Katharina, which was awarded the ECPA Book of the Year Award in Fiction. Her other novels have won the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christy Award. She resides in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

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