Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

historical-books-5 nadine keels

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

newton-and-pollyNewton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Indeed, after loving the novel Luther and Katharina as much as I did, I jumped at the chance to read Newton and Polly by author Jody Hedlund. A novel about the man who penned the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace,” and the love of that man’s life? Yes, please!

And I’m not sorry I read it. It has points I really liked, such as one raised by Polly’s mother: “Just because so many others turn a blind eye to the evil going on around us doesn’t mean we should too. Imagine if everyone sat back and looked the other way. Who would be left to fight for righteous living and justice?” I also appreciate that the story highlights how making pious choices doesn’t necessarily mean you’re close to God, and Newton’s eventual realization of God’s grace is rather beautiful.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough moments that I liked to make me enjoy the read overall. For most of the book, I didn’t have much reason to admire either Newton or Polly. It seemed they just didn’t have much purpose outside of being in their feelings about each other, and given the length of the book, that grew tiresome after a while. Polly blushed and pined while Newton kept making one poor decision after another. And I lost track of the number of times he kept getting beat up, but that, along with another issue or two, did get redundant after a while.

Lover of historical ChristFic that I am, this novel wasn’t my cup of tea. But it is well-written, and I wouldn’t discourage Hedlund fans who haven’t read it yet from giving it a go.

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