This novel, based on the true story of John Newton, the writer of one of the most beloved hymns of all time, Amazing Grace, is a journey through doubt, denial, rebellion, all of them emotions that a person goes through when struggling with the idea of an Almighty God.
Jody Hedlund is the author of this historical novel. The story is a "sweeping saga" that takes the reader along for the ride. It is closely based on John and Polly Newton and the life he lived before he became a Christian. Polly, whom he almost did not win the hand of, was instrumental in exposing him to the love of God and the salvation of Christ. However, it was not until John was at his very lowest point, that he allowed God in. He went through jobs like water through a sieve. His father, whose love was always there, however distant, rescued him countless times and found him jobs but John carried a bitter resentment after his mother's death when he was a child and he squandered every single opportunity. That resentment bred a rebelliousness that nearly got him killed more than one time. He grew up mostly without his father around who was a seaman and was gone a lot until John reached a certain age, then taking him on the ship voyages with him, teaching him to be a seaman. But, he remained cold and distant after the death of his wife and John's resentment grew.
He carried anger toward God and his father and had a chip on his shoulder he could hardly stand up under. He thought the world owed him and had little regard for authority or responsibility.
When he met Polly he was instantly smitten and she for him. But, she held back, seeing his irresponsibility. Just when he thinks he will never see her again, God works on his heart and brings him to his knees one dark and stormy night at sea.
This book drew me in and I felt the despair he went through and the broken heart that Polly suffered. It is a turbulent journey and about halfway through I reached a point where I could hardly put it down.
Ms. Hedlund is the author of numerous Christian fiction books including Luther and Katherina and was awarded the ECPA Book of the Year Award for that novel; again, based on a true story. Her novels have also won the INSPY Award, the Carol Award and the Christy Award.
Thank you to Blogging for Books for this volume. All opinions are my own.
If you would like to know more about Jody Hedlund's writing visit her at Jody Hedlund. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
See you next time,