Author Jody Hedlund recreates a slice of History full of the details that pull you into this time period of religious and social upheaval. I enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth, the young woman who dares to stand up to the "piously wrong" in the congregation. I was fascinated to learn about some of the superstitious beliefs of the time, such as- an infant could be tainted by the devil if nursed by a woman of an unsavory background. Obviously, there was no Platex Nurser at the time... and mothers often died in childbirth.
The "preacher" is John Costin, a newly widowed man in great need of help. He is a tinker by trade and a preacher by calling, and with four children to tend to, what he really needs is a wife. Elizabeth Whitbread is a devout young woman who has a self image that is much lower than it should be. She lacks confidence in her own inner and outer beauty.
There are some very bad men in this book, one Mr. Foster in particular who does some really wretched things.
This book is more than a history lesson, and much more than a love story, though there's nothing wrong with either one. I was reminded of the people who have gone before who managed to live and carry on in spite of conditions that were horrible. I am thankful for the courage of these characters, who were based on actual historical figures. I have benefited from their lives.
Thanks Jody, for telling their story.
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If you would like to read the first chapter of The Preacher's Bride, go HERE.