Title: The Preacher’s Bride
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
The setting of this book is Bedford, England in the year 1659. This was a time in history when Oliver Cromwell was in power in England and his puritanical beliefs were fostered and encouraged. There were many Puritans living in Bedford, including the main female character, Elizabeth Whitbread.
Elizabeth is the second oldest of seven daughters. Her family owns and operates a bakery. She works there during the day and on the Sabbath takes bread to the poor. She has promised to marry Samuel Muddle at summer’s end and quit working as housekeeper for Brother Costin and his family. She began working for Brother Costin at the elders request after his wife died two weeks after giving birth to her fourth child. Elizabeth wants to serve the Lord by helping those in need. However, as the summer progresses, Elizabeth falls more and more in love with her four young charges and their father. During this summer she also is attacked on two separate occasions by a Royalist Anglican man. He wants her to spy on John Costin and sneak away some of his rebellious papers that could be grounds for a charge of sedition. He beats Elizabeth, but she keeps John’s children safe. There are other attempts on her life by this man, and John is determined to keep her safe. How can he do this?
John Costin has been a Puritan a scant five years, but in that time, he has become one of their leading preachers even though he has had no formal education or training. This lack of training and education is one of the focal points of his enemies. He is a mere commoner preaching the Gospel. Only those sent by the Church and properly ordained should be qualified to do this according to Royalists. Royalists also support the king, not Cromwell. John spends his time writing, preaching and tinkering. His tinkering pays the bills, but his passion is preaching God’s word. When he realizes his enemies are becoming more desperate to silence him, he opts to marry Elizabeth. She will be a mother to his children and free him up to spend more time preaching. Elizabeth has other ideas about how a marriage should be and must face heartbreak and grief when her husband rejects her love.
This is a story of two people and their dedication to serve God no matter the cost to themselves. These two main characters are based in historical people, and some of the events in the story actually happened in real life. I find that fascinating to read “what might have happened” in this fictional story. Once readers turn the first page, it will be easy to keep reading until the end of the story. I’m looking forward to more interesting stories from Jody!
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457