The Preacher’s Bride, by Jody Hedlund, will be released on October 1, 2010, and is 376 pages. I “met” Jody on Twitter, and her writing blog is one of my favorites. I received her debut novel for review from the publisher, Bethany House. It is my first Christian Historical Romance, and I fell in love with it!
Set in England in the mid-1600s, The Preacher’s Bride is the story of Elizabeth Whitbread, the daughter of a baker, betrothed to one man, but called to help another. The starving cries of the baby of widower and preacher, John Costin, stir Elizabeth to action, and start a series of events leading to family struggles, personal danger, and unforeseen love.
Hedlund is a gifted writer. She draws a vivid portrait of 17th century England, and the personal difficulties of its inhabitants. The internal and external conflicts of her characters and the decisions they made kept me full of questions throughout the novel, and turning pages so quickly that I read it in three nights. I also appreciated the portrayal of violence and romance without graphic language and disturbing images. It was refreshing to read a fully satisfying romance without anything that made me squirm in my seat.
Jody Hedlund’s debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, is engaging, suspenseful, and well-written. Readers of historical fiction and Christian fiction have an excellent new book to add to their shelves.