Pretty much any book set in England in any time period has a head start in garnering my good graces. And a book that spins a good story in that setting gains even more ground.
Jody Hedlund’s debut novel The Preacher’s Bride didn’t disappoint. A good Puritan girl. A feisty Puritan preacher. An oft-neglected time period (Oliver Cromwell’s reign and then the return of the king.) Throw in a few cute kids, a lot of conflict and a surprising “Author’s Note” revelation of the historical inspiration for the story and you get a book that will definitely find shelf space in my house! (And no, I’m not going to tell you the historical inspiration for the book. You’ll have to read it!)
I also love the questions that get explored through this story, questions about the role of ministry in relation to a wife and children. I love the change that happens in both the hero and heroine. That neither one starts out nor ends up perfect, but that both are striving to obey and please the Lord. In the process, they learn and grow. They extend forgiveness and have forgiveness extended to them.
The Preacher’s Bride offers a great escape from the present, a great reminder of themes we wrestle with every day, and a great history lesson, all wrapped up in one memorable story.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a free copy of this book from the publisher.)