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Review: The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund

Preacher's Bride, The, Jody Hedlund, 978-0-7642-0832-4

Elizabeth, a quick-witted and idealistic young maiden, was filled with pity for a tiny baby, left to die along with his mother.  She found him a wet-nurse, decided to become a housekeeper to care for the rest of the motherless children, and fell in love with their father, while promising marriage to another man.  But things were not as simple as they seemed in Puritan England; around the time of Cromwell’s death social unrest was rampant and angry Royalists gained power. Against this background, author Jody Hedlund turned an ordinary story line into a gripping novel of unruly characters and strong emotion.

Yes, this novel is full of strong, believable characters and excitement, and it should be very good.  But I did not like it at all, because it does not represent truth.  When Elizabeth followed the age-old mistake of imagining that her own feelings were the voice of God, the author approved.  Broken promises abounded, without repentance or even guilt.  Although Elizabeth was portrayed as a modest girl, the novel was steamy enough (after Elizabeth’s marriage) that any modest girl would feel uncomfortable reading it.  And, at the end, when the preacher’s identity was disclosed, I realized that a godly man had been portrayed in a modern light, to his discredit.  I felt cheated.

A more positive opinion from the publisher is available here.

Disclosure:  This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Jenn4him says:

    Oh dear. Thanks for the warning, not that I am a big fan of modern Christian fiction. I stick to long ago authors, usually.

  2. Annie Kate says:

    I used to stick to long-ago authors, too, but have come across enough good modern ones lately to try them regularly again. This one was a disappointment.

    Annie Kate

  3. Thanks for the review, but I’m going to have to disagree. I absolutely 100% LOVED this book. I thought it completely represented truth. Overcoming adversity in the face of trials is a very truth-filled theme and I think Hedlund pulled it off beautifully. You say the book is steamy and then in parentheses you put (after the marriage). Have you read the Song of Solomon? Does that make you uncomfortable as well? God wants our marriages to be steamy and Hedlund does a wonderful job of handling this in such a tactful, considerate way.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful response, Katie. You are, of course, right, that our marriages should be steamy. But that isn’t a public thing. As for the Song of Solomon, have you noticed its much different approach?

      And to anyone who reads this comment, if you’re interested in writing fiction, do go visit Katie’s blog. She presents a lot of helpful information for writers.

      Annie Kate

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