Title: Newton & Polly
Author: Jody Hedlund
2016, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
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.
I am a huge fan of Jody Hedlund's books. I especially love her novels that focus on a historical figure and this book was one of my favorites. We have all heard the hymn Amazing Grace, but how much do we know about the author or what lead up to it being written.
Hedlund takes us back to 18th Century England to follow John Newton and Polly Catlett. Newton is a irresponsible boy who constantly shirks is duty in favor of whatever has taken his fancy at the moment. Polly Catlett is the girl he falls in love with, but her family has reservations about John and how he would support Polly.... not to mention his lack of faith in God.
Polly loves John in return, but also has a dream of going to school and learning more about music and composing. Also, she wants to have her family's blessing. Through a series of events John is impressed by the Royal Navy and taken off to sea. Will Polly wait for John? Will John get past his anger and bitterness?
I don't know how historically accurate this story was, but I loved it. I greatly enjoyed the love story between John and Polly even though life seemed to be trying to keep them apart. I especially enjoyed John's journey towards finding God when his eyes were finally opened to all that the Lord was doing in his life. Honestly, I want to do some research of my own on the couple to see how much of the story was true.
Disclosure: I recieved a free copy of this book from the publisher at BloggingforBooks. No other compensation was given and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.