Newton & Polly   -     By: Jody Hedlund
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Newton & Polly

Waterbrook Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Newton & Polly, by Jody Hedlund

John Newton was a rebellious worldly young man.  He fell in love with Polly Catlett the first time he saw her. Her father would not allow her to get involved with him.  He was involved with slave trade.  Four years later on a trip returning home to England, John experiences salvation and followed a life of crusading against slavery.  Will he convince Polly believe he is a changed man?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1601427646
ISBN-13: 9781601427649

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Publisher's Description

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…

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 choose 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.

Author Bio

Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling and award-winning author of more than a dozen books. Among a variety of genres, she especially loves bringing long-forgotten women of history to life. She is the author of Luther and Katharina, which was awarded the ECPA Book of the Year Award in Fiction. Her other novels have won the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christy Award. She resides in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

Editorial Reviews

"Amazing Grace, indeed! Newton and Polly is one of the most powerful love stories I have ever read, wrenching the heart and waking the soul. If you read one book this year, this should be it.
—Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series

"A powerfully moving account of one man’s epic journey from doubt and despair into a world of radiant faith. Newton and Polly is impeccably researched and punctuated with glints of genuine humor… I loved it!"
—Elizabeth Camden, RITA® and Christy award-winning author

"A sweeping tale rife with adventure, love, and God’s relentless pursuit of his own. With her signature depth and detail, Jody Hedlund plunges her readers into a fascinating and powerful story that has gone untold—until now. Set sail with Newton and Polly and become anchored in amazing grace."
—Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of the Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series

"In this story of the lives of John Newton and Polly Catlett, author Jody Hedlund skillfully weaves together the history, romance, and Christian faith that inspired the world’s best-loved hymn. Evocative and illuminating."
—Dorothy Love, author of Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray: A Novel

"Jody Hedlund’s historical detail is immaculate, and her storytelling will bring you to tears. Newton’s conversion was truly remarkable, sparking a legacy that has impacted millions of lives. Newton and Polly invites readers into that powerful experience."
—Sigmund Brouwer, award-winning author of Thief of Glory

Praise for the Christy and ECPA Novel of the Year
Luther and Katharina

"Jody Hedlund’s Luther and Katharina is an absorbing and deeply researched look into the life and ministry of a figure in church history I’d previously known only from a few dusty facts. Jody breathes life into those facts with this fascinating and intimate portrayal of Martin Luther’s life. Luther and Katharina is a compelling tale of tested faith, tumultuous church history, and incredible courage against daunting odds—and one of the most unique love stories I’ve read in ages."
—Lori Benton, author of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn and The Wood’s Edge

"Complex and emotionally rich, Luther and Katharina gripped me from the very start and never let go. Not even when the final page was turned. The history, the love story, the depth of faith in this novel is masterfully woven by Jody Hedlund."
—Tamera Alexander, USA Today best-selling author of To Win Her Favor and A Lasting Impression

Product Reviews

4.9 Stars Out Of 5
4.9 out of 5
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Quality:
4.5 out Of 5
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Value:
4.6 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
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Displaying items 1-5 of 39
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    What I Didn't Know About John Newton
    January 4, 2017
    Sally M
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Jody Hedlund's latest foray into biographical historical romance takes us to the early years of Amazing Grace writer, John Newton, at a time when he lived a distinctly non-Christian life. He was still a teenager when he met his distant relation, Polly Catlett, but he was immediately taken with her. He stayed numerous times with the Catlett family, but it was after one of these visits that he was pressganged into serving with the Royal Navy. Newton and Polly focuses on the period before and after this event, including John's misdeeds.

    What I knew of John Newton before reading this book was extremely limited. I knew he was involved with the slave trade, but not to what extent. I didn't know that he was learned but uncouth, charming but without ambition. He was often absence without leave from the vessels on which he served. Even after falling in love with Polly, he appeared to lack the maturity to live the steady life required of a man looking to marry. I understood why Mr. Catlett didn't readily approve of him. It was only after five years of indenture and near death in a storm that he realized that, like Jonah, he'd been running from God and turned his life around.

    Jody Hedlund's novel appears to stay true to what I've since read about John Newton's life, although she admits to altering some minor detail and creating a subplot involving smuggling. It's an ugly story at times. There are brief passages of violence, references to dishonorable behavior, and descriptions of ill-treatment of slaves. And, although there are references to the lyrics of Amazing Grace, the writing of the song itself isn't included since that happened many years later.

    Thank you to Waterbrook and Blogging for Books for my complimentary copy of Newton and Polly, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A beautiful story
    December 9, 2016
    Melissa
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have loved every book I have read by Jody Hedlund. At first I wasnt sure if I would love this one as much as the others, it did take me until about chapter four before I was hooked and didnt want to put the book down.

    Jody can write romance like no other, the tension she builds is so real and I feel it in my heart.

    This is a beautiful story of how Polly and John Newton couldve fallen in love. I enjoyed thinking about the path they could have taken that lead to John writing beautiful hymn Amazing Grace and the meaning behind the words.

    It was not an easy journey, as every good love story goes. But love does prevail and Gods amazing grace.

    If you enjoy a good historical romance this is a great one to read.

    A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Incredible Book! Everyone should read!
    December 6, 2016
    Susan Barrett
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Newton and Polly is a standalone novel by Jody Hedlund, and I personally think its her best work to date (at least of what Ive read from her). Newton and Polly is an amazing tale of enduring love, hardships, and Gods grace.

    Polly Catlett is a sweet young girl who hangs out with her abolitionist cousin in the height of the slave trade business in England. One night while caroling (and covering the escape of slaves nearby), Polly has a close call, and out of no where this stranger comes to her and her cousins rescue.

    John Newton is immediately captivated with Pollys voice, and is even more delighted to find ways to be with her more, but Pollys father isnt too fond of Johns influence, considering how John is a sailor and isnt know for his character.🙂

    I could hardly put this book down! I loved watching Polly fall for John and watching how her love made him want to become (and eventually become) a better man. I loved seeing Newton grow in his relationship with God and come to realize what amazing grace is so freely given to us. Newton and Polly was truly a life-changing read, and one I would highly recommend! Thank you, Mrs. Hedlund, for putting Newtons story down in a way that is easily read and accessible to readers (especially of fiction).

    Thank you so much to the author for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.

    *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion which Ive done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
  4. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Depravity meets Grace. Love conquers Fear.
    November 26, 2016
    Jolene
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    John Newton is a youthful, adventurous sailor when he first encounters Polly Catlett. Her sweet voice and pretty face draw him, but it is her personality that captivates him. Devout and responsible, Polly is Newton's opposite in many ways. As they interact, attraction and passion begin to bind them together. But Polly's concerns regarding Newton are realized when his drunkenness gets him caught and impressed into the English Navy's service. As time passes, Newton's waywardness intensifies and Polly must choose to lay aside her hope of a joint future with Newton. Will Newton and Polly spend their lives pursuing desires that keep them apart from each other? Or will they embrace an amazing grace that can bring love and restoration into darkness and shame? Read more in Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund.

    Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund snagged my attention at the beginning and carried it along a path to the depths of human depravity and the heights of miraculous, life-altering grace. The journey was unpleasant at times. Newton's irresponsibly was annoying and his later actions were disgusting. Even after his conversion, I found it difficult to really like him. That being said, I appreciate that Hedlund stuck reasonably close to the known historical facts and didn't gloss over Newton's behavior to make him more palatable. Some elements of the story that I enjoyed were: the humorous banter between Newton and Polly, Polly's character development, Newton's conversion, Mr. Catlett's stand for moral integrity, and the spiritual themes of grace triumphing over sin.

    While Newton & Polly is not my favorite book by Hedlund, I do think it is well-written. I'm sure there are some readers who can can stomach Newton's descent into depravity better than I did and I don't seek to dissuade anyone who enjoys reading historical romances from reading Newton & Polly. My dislike of the story is based more on Newton's character than Hedlund's writing.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  5. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    fantastic novel!
    November 17, 2016
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the fictional account of the early life of John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace. The story mostly takes place in a small shipping town called Chatham, England in the 1740s. John Newton is 17 years old and traveling back to accept a position his father has obtained for him to take a ship to a Jamaican plantation where he will work and oversee things for the plantation owner for the next five years. On his way back, he decides to stop and visit his mothers cousin whom he has recently received a letter from. While there, he is introduced to his cousins daughter Polly Catlett and is immediately drawn to her. She is a young teenager of 15, but seems to feel the same attraction. He decides he doesnt want the job his father has arranged for him because he doesnt want to spend five years away from Polly. He just knows she is the one for him.

    As events unfold, John makes several poor choices that lead to his being forced to leave Chatham and the woman he loves. She is devastated as well, but her father has told her that John doesnt have the character of a husband that her father wants for Polly. Polly agrees that John struggles with his faith and responsibility, but she still loves him. As months pass, Polly tries her best to forget John and go on with her life. Years pass when she receives an unexpected visitorJohns father. He has come to her parents home to tell them that John is alive and a changed man. Can Polly give him another chance? Is John really changed or is he just putting on an act to please their parents? If he really has changed, how has this change manifested itself?

    This is a fantastic story! I couldnt put it down. This is one of my favorite genres as I learn about history as well as get to enjoy a good romance! The authors note following the story is very interesting and I liked reading about what was real in the story and what was fiction. I never knew the story of young John Newton and how his life was changed and how he lived out the rest of his life after his change. The scenes at sea put me right there on the ship with John. His realization of how God had saved him over and over again in his life and Gods love for even a sinner like him brought tears to my eyes. Dont miss another wonderful story by Jody Hedlund!
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