John Newton's life was anything but calm. He questioned God's existence and wasn't afraid to mock those who were vocal about their trust in God. A sailor by trade, he exasperated his father by throwing away almost all his father did for him. He was reckless enough to be imprisoned and chained. Newton's decision making was poor to say the least. Yet, Newton's charm does not go unnoticed.
Polly is a young woman who falls for John even though her parents see lack of character on his part. She is a believer yet is in search of a connection with God.
I was taken away on an adventure of a life time. At times I honestly wasn't sure I wanted to be on board the ship with Newton especially during a time of imprisonment. Oh, and there was that major storm that made me a bit green around the gills.
In all seriousness, there were a few chapters I found difficult to read. Not because of anything too graphic but the subject matter - the capture and selling of human beings into slavery - but because of the compassion I felt reading the black words on the white page. Ironic, isn't it?
Author Jody Hedlund stayed true to history with a few exceptions. As I was taught in school, we study history so we do not make those mistakes again. I can only pray we will end modern slavery and never repeat history again.
Newton & Polly is a must read in my limited mind. The reader will never sing Amazing Grace in the same way again. I highly recommend this book! (I was given this book from Waterbrook and the author. All reviews/posts are my honest opinion)
This was one of the author's most difficult books to write. Find out why here.
Find out more information about John Newton, quotes from Newton, and other links including discussion questions here.
"I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am." John Newton