Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review: Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

     Book Summary:
               Now remembered as the author of the world's most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life.  His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father- until the night he hears Polly Catlett's enchanting voice, caroling.  He's immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.  
               An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John's reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly.  When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must chose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever.  Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?
              Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

     What I loved:
               This was my first time reading a Jody Hedlund book, and I have to say she is an amazing author.  Her books are informative and full of historical information, but you don't feel like you are reading a textbook.  I had never really heard of John Newton before reading this book, but I of course know the song Amazing Grace and sing it all the time!  It was really interesting to learn about how that song was written.  Also, I really did like John and Polly's banter throughout the book.  They were so sweet!
     What I didn't love so much:
               Y'all, John Newton was caught up in some NASTY stuff before he converted.  Stuff like getting drunk, gambling, adultery (lots of adultery), and slave trade.  While Ms. Hedlund was very conservative in the way she described these things, they were still there and younger girls or sensitive girls may not want to read about these things. Everyone has a past, and if Newton wouldn't have had that past, I don't think we would have the song Amazing Grace today.  Also, John and Polly shared a quite detailed kiss.  It lasted almost an entire page (TMI)!
     Conclusion and Rating:
                This was a hard book to read and an even harder book to review.  First of all, this is definitely a high school aged book, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone younger at all.  I would definitely have a parent or trusted adult/ older sibling read the book first just due to all the violent and sexual content.  Personally, I would give this book a 2.5-3 star rating.

See y'all soon for another review!

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