The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund in two days. I feel like I should feel guilty about that. But I don't. The book was that good. Seriously good. And besides, I at least did laundry.
Jody hooked me within the first chapter. I mean, really, what mom wouldn't be hooked by the main character, Elizabeth, trying desperately to help a poor babe whose mother just died. Come on, moms, are you with me on that one?
What really struck me about Elizabeth was her commitment to obey God's calling no matter what the cost. How many times have I said, "Umm, God, are You sure that is what I'm to do? Because if I am really hearing what I think You are saying, other people are going to think I'm nuts!" The Preacher's Bride really had me thinking about issues and how I would react. Would I react in my selfish ways or stand up and stand firm?
The following is from Bethany House (publisher) website. I thought it does a better job than I ever could in describing the story line.
This fall debut author Jody Hedlund delivers an emotionally powerful story that will tug at readers’ hearts. Fascinated with history—and the courageous lives of heroes of the faith—Hedlund pens a dramatic and moving portrayal of people determined to follow God’s will in the face of persecution.
“This story is inspired by real people and real events,” says Hedlund, who, while doing research, was touched by the story of Elizabeth Bunyan—wife of Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan. “But it’s also a tale of Christians facing persecution for their beliefs.”
Yet The Preacher’s Bride is not a fictionalization of the Bunyan’s lives. It’s a story unto its own, compelling and captivating while also insightful and thought-provoking, delving into the difficult decisions and lessons every Christian must undergo.
“God wants to use our hardships to develop our holiness. Sometimes He will lead us down a difficult path or ask us to do hard things, and He doesn’t want us to avoid them for the easy way,” says Hedlund. “Ultimately He uses those difficulties to shape our character and deepen our love for Him.”
It’s also a story that rings true on a personal note for Hedlund.
“Through my own personal struggles, God has emphasized that I need to continue to live a life of obedience to Him and walk the difficult path,” she says, adding that this is what her characters ultimately learn, as well—no matter the consequences.
With a moving plot, a sense of intrigue, and a sweet romance, The Preacher’s Bride is a perfect book club pick and an ideal read for fans of Lynn Austin, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Francine Rivers.
In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher—whether her assistance is wanted or not.
Yet Elizabeth Whitbread’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John Costin’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child—and the man—she’s come to love.
I strongly recommend you RUN out and buy this book!! (The author nor her publishing house is paying me to say this...I just think it is a great story!) Official release date is Oct 1. However, it is showing up in stores sooner and you can order online.