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We often dub exceptional new authors as “The One To Watch.” Well, Jody Hedlund is not one to watch, she is “The One to Read!” Her debut as a published author reflects the diligence and dedication Jody has awarded in refining her gift as an exceptional storyteller.
The Preacher’s Bride is inspired by and based upon the story of John (author of the Pilgrim’s Progress) and Elizabeth Bunyan. This is a book that straddles the fiction/non-fiction line without leaving the reader wanting for more of one or the other.
This story was alive with cutting dialogue, lyrical phrasing, and vivid description. Elizabeth and John’s story covers a range of emotions that will left me spent but appreciative in the end. Their relationship is defined beyond physical attraction-it is rooted in commitment to God, respect of the family, and attraction of the heart, soul, and mind.
Jody achieved harmony between historical research and artistic liberties to produce a resonating work of literature. I was captivated by the Puritan fight for survival in light of the persecution from the Royalists, and how their faith remained firm in the presence of adversity. The religious bigotry and Pharisaic attitudes of some of the characters shone a light on the dangers of believing with your head versus believing with your heart. Parallels can certainly be drawn with the religious temperature of the modern church and the real life implications provoked self-reflection and examination of of my faith and life.