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The Preacher's Bride [Kindle Edition]

Jody Hedlund
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (644 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John'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 manshe's come to love.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hedlund's debut novel is no light-hearted romp through history. Instead, this double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest for unpublished writers takes on 1650s England during the final days of Cromwell's reign. The Puritans had enjoyed years of freedom, but as Royalists begin to regain power, preachers like John Costin face danger. Costin's wife dies, leaving four children behind, one of them blind and another, newborn. Elizabeth Whitbread, who sees children in need, volunteers to become Costin's housekeeper. She comes to love the children and, eventually, John, yet she is bound by strict Puritan standards and her promise to marry another. Elizabeth faces the threats of a Royalist, the rebukes of powerful Puritans, and the turmoil of her feelings as political events threaten all she holds dear. Hedlund, who based her tale on the life of John Bunyan, writes well of life in Puritan England, though the middle drags and readers will become annoyed with the stubbornness of Costin. Yet this is a fine beginning for a writer we'll hear from again.
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From Booklist

In her historical inspirational fiction debut, Hedlund crafts a penetrating narrative about loss, love, and the sacrifices that are made for one’s faith. Opening in England in 1659, The Preacher’s Bride tells the story of Elizabeth Whitfield, a young Puritan maiden, and John Costin, an intrepid minister and recent widower with a young brood. Although Elizabeth only means to serve as she believes God intends, John repeatedly rebuffs her charitable attempts to take on the role of his housekeeper and childcare provider as he grieves for his wife. Elizabeth’s world darkens when a frightening stranger on a mission to destroy John’s growing ministry begins to stalk her. It is only then that John is able to realize his true feelings for Elizabeth. The strength, chastity, and faithful zeal of both main characters will resonate strongly with fans of inspirational historical fiction. Based loosely on the second marriage of John Bunyan, a hero of the faith and author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Hedlund’s novel exemplifies the struggles of the Puritan preachers and their “well-beloved” wives. --Elizabeth Ponder

Product Details

  • File Size: 2271 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BLIQ5U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful! September 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

That is the one word I would use to describe this book. Honestly, this was not a "normal" read for me. Needless to say, life has drama, sorrow and heaviness so generally I tend to lean towards light and easy reading to balance it all out. This book, however, would not let me put it down. It compelled me along, beckoning to me to continue reading.

This driving story follows the (author enhanced) life of John Bunyan, writer of Pilgrim's Progress, and his second wife Elizabeth. This book was well researched and it's always amazing to read of different time periods and what those people had to endure. A greater appreciation for this family and the hardships and sacrifices they had lived through in order to survive was unimaginable. After reading this powerful portrayal, a deeper sense of purpose and conviction can not help to be felt in one's heart. I am so proud of Jody accomplishment and the obvious Inspiration behind this book's story.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I am always looking for a good book to invest my time in. I want to be sucked into it's world with no desire to put it down. More importantly, I want to finish it with a sense of closure and fulfillment. "The Preacher's Bride" was this type of book.

It was interesting to walk in Elizabeth's footsteps as she stood strong in her faith to follow what she felt the Lord wanted her to do. In the face of opposition and public gossip, she stood firm in following His will when it would have been easier not to. Such a wonderful example of a woman of faith. I felt her happiness as well as her sorrow while I learned about the Puritan struggles in 1600's England.

I finished this book with the sense of wanting to doing better, to be better in my own life. It easy to recommend this book to all my reading friends because I know they will enjoy it as much as I did. "The Preacher's Bride" is perfect for a church book/discussion group of any Christian faith.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Above all, we must protect the children September 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Preacher's Bride is a lovely read. The intriguing cover drew me in and as I read I was immediately transported and immersed in the day-to-day lives of the Puritans of 17th century England. Set in the framework of the rancor between English Royalist and the Puritans, the book's message is that enduring faith, children and family trump persecution. I was unable to put the book down until I learned the fates of John Costin, a tinker "called to mend souls not just kettles" and his housekeeper.

Elizabeth Whitbread, the heroine of this refreshing Christian historical romance, is a compassionate, persistent and perceptive young woman bent on protecting and nurturing the children of the recent widower. "My conscience before God will not allow me to stand idly by," says Elizabeth.

Author, Hedlund, particularly adept with dialogue, has the gift of swiftly moving her plot along. Her personal experience as a mother of five has evidently enabled her to delve easily into the fanciful, innocent world of children. Her young characters literally jumped off the page into my heart. Particularly impressive is the characterization of Mary, the blind eight-year-old, whose sixth sense is clairvoyant and prophetic.

The Preacher's Bride will keep you engaged. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed On Many Levels January 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a Christian, I'm very happy for this author's success and hope she will grow in her story and character development. These were really lacking here. The writing is fine enough. What I found extremely disappointing is the fact that because it's fiction she could have made the characters more likable. It's a romance, I want to fall in love with the guy or at least like him. I couldn't like John Costin. He's a self-absorbed complete idiot. What kind of man thinks he doesn't need anyone's help when he's a widower with a newborn, a toddler and a blind child? That's not only prideful, it's stupid. He certainly wasn't thinking of his children. What's more, I don't want that man to be a leader in my church. I understand the author needed a plot device to get the heroine into his home so they could fall in love but this was not a good way. And don't get me started with his ridiculous line of thinking on not sleeping with his new wife making her life a living hell. The book kept telling me he was admirable without giving me anything of substance to think him admirable. And because it's supposed to be based on a historical figure, John Bunyan, this story taints one's view of the real man and does him an injustice.

Others have said that Elizabeth was TOO perfect. I would agree. I don't enjoy reading about super-spritual people. Fictional characters should be real people who struggle with weakness in a way that honors God. However, my biggest beef was that I absolutely hated that she was literally thrashed not just once but a number of times by the villain. It made no sense. A good girl, upstanding, church-going citizen get's beaten and it's like it's no big deal. Where's the outrage? I kept waiting for it. Where were the godly men in her life to protect her? What on earth were they thinking?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome, intriguing page-turner September 3, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read, and enjoyed, historical romance before. But, this is the first one I've encountered based on the Puritan way of life. I normally go for a good mystery or a crime drama with offbeat humor. Lately I've been indulging in young-adult paranormal. I'm also a big sic-fi fan and I throw in the occasional classic now and then. So, it would stand to reason that I might hold a small fear of this book turning out to be dull. I mean, come on... Puritans. How can that be engaging and romantic?

But, engaging and romantic it is. The book opens with a heart-wrenching scene that grabs the reader and the plot never lets go. You're immediately thrust into the lives of the main characters, John and Elizabeth, with a special peek into their hearts. Fear, worry, doubt and second-guessing. These topics of romance are always in season, Puritan or not. But, the Puritan part of the story is essential. It's the love of God that causes the steadfastness of conviction that leads to much of the story. It's an imbedded part of who the characters are and what makes them tick. But, you don't have to be religious or a believer to fully fall in love with the Puritan's of The Preacher's Bride and be wringing your hands or cheering with fulfilled hope depending on the page.

This novel is based on the real lives of John and Elizabeth Bunyan. Writer's license is taken with the romance of the couple, as well as creating personalities of the townspeople, while keeping most historical moments intact. John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress. A book I've never read, but I'm going to now.

So grab this one. Don't let it pass you by because you think it's all about religion. It's about people. Their hopes, dreams, fears and struggles. It's an awesome, intriguing page-turner for anyone regardless of your usual reading genre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Romance Novel
A well written novel which allows the reader to peek into the 1659 era and glimpse the lives, times, and daily living of those living in that period. Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Kathy Pittman
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ
This is a wonderful story of about the church in England. I love the history the author brings to this book.
Published 11 hours ago by Ginger Duckwall
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book that holds you from the beginning!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book...many twists and turns to keep it interesting. Interesting way to present history! I would highly recommend this book!
Published 18 hours ago by Linda Large
5.0 out of 5 stars What I liked About This Book
This book was a pleasant surprise. The cover of the Puritan girl and the blurb hooked me in so I had to download it. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Green Fire
5.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyed this!
Very well done historical fiction. I think it is ok that the author took some liberties with the facts. I did not know it was factual until I was done :)
Very good read!
Published 1 day ago by justmenmykindle
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this Historical Fiction story
Inspired by the real life story of one of the preacher's of faith John Bunyon. Having information about the facts at the end of the book is very helpful.
Published 2 days ago by Jan Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Excellent book I couldn't put it down. I will look for more by this author. Now this is all amen.
Published 2 days ago by Jon B. Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars A strugle for sure
I really enjoyed this book. It made you think of how things were many years ago before people came to America for freedom.
Published 2 days ago by Giraffe
3.0 out of 5 stars A sweet story.
A lovely story for a debut. I found the heroine sweet, but a little too perfect. We all have faults, and she didn't seem to have any. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Joanne Wadsworth
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A pretty accurate account of what life was probably like during those times. Kept my interest throughout. Can't wait to see the rest of the series.
Published 3 days ago by MHkidsx3
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More About the Author

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

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books not down loaded
I have downloaded 2 free books recently....'The Preachers Bride' and 'Living off the Grid'. Both showed up on my Kindle, however neither one could be opened...both said ' cannot be opened, licensed to another user ' very confusing. No credible help from Kindle support.
Sep 7, 2011 by Wayne Miles |  See all 2 posts
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