REVIEW: Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund

Another great historically-based story from Jody Hedlund!   Newton and Polly follows the story of John Newton and Polly Catlett.  The story is set in 1740s England.  In their teens, Polly and Newton meet and begin their lifelong romance.  Newton, as many know, is plagued by lack of self-control, lack of maturity, and lack of God.  Even his love for Polly isn’t enough to keep him on the straight-and-narrow.  His father, Captain Newton, bails him out numerous times, but John perceives him as uncaring and unloving.  Readers, though, will see the tough love that Captain Newton pours into his son throughout the story.  What heartache for Captain Newton watch his son make repeated bad decisions.

Newton’s turnaround is historic and the basis for the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace”.  In a shipwreck and fighting for their lives, Newton and the others have a chance for a redemption/salvation.  Newton grabs hold and the experience does change his life.  All of the things he was powerless to set aside before are now simplified by his turning to God.

Jody Hedlund does an amazing job with historical detail.  And, her characters come to life, making the book enjoyable to read.  A couple of the side characters who I enjoyed were Mr. Catlett and his Godly wisdom, along with long-suffering cousin Susanna.

Thanks to Jody and Waterbrook Press for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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