The Preacher's Bride

The Preacher's Bride

by Jody Hedlund


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In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher—whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.

Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child—and man—she's come to love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764208324
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Series: Hearts of Faith Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 660,396
Product dimensions: 6.94(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at

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The Preacher's Bride 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 303 reviews.
LadyJai More than 1 year ago
This was not my first time reading Historical Fiction. However it was my first read of Historical Christian Fiction. Skeptical at first, I didn't quite understand the genre and half expected preaching to be involved. As I delved in, I quickly realized that this was not the case. Pious Elizabeth Whitbread looked only to serve God and those in need, accepting what she thought was her lot in life. When God called upon her through the cry of a baby, Elizabeth put her life and marriage on hold and answered. Little did she realize that her path had now diverged. Jon Costin, tinkerer by trade preacher by calling, never suspected God's ulterior motives. The Preacher's Bride was a true example of God working through mysterious ways. Strong willed, quick to wit, and God serving characters perfectly matched from the beginning. Both struggled through the persecution of the Royalists and their own personal struggles with God. Their relationship between each other and with God grew throughout the entire book. Jody Hedlund captured my heart in her first book with her perfectly executed writing. She took the true story of John Bunyan and wove her own of "the woman behind John Bunyan". It was not preachy, it was not mushy. But it sure was moving! The reader got into the head of Elizabeth from the very first moment and felt the pull of emotions throughout. I cannot wait to read her next book, The Doctor's Lady.
IngridS More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the best books I've ever read! I couldn't put it down. The way Hedlund creates conflict on every single page leaves the reader on the edge of their seat. And the way she develops the romance between the two main characters was crafted in such a delicate but visceral way that leaves one swooning for the love of their life. I could go on and on about how good this book is but my words could never do it justice. Better to just read it yourself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Preacher's Bride is a story you will want on your bookshelf. When I realized it was on John Bunyan's wife, I did not look forward to reading it as I do not like fiction that is on historical figures. Yet I was in for a big surprise. Jody Hedlund pleasantly surprised me in that the book did not make me feel as though I was reading a historical novel. Her imagination shaped the characters into people who went through trials and temptations with the strength that God only gives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading every second of this book. It took me on such an emotional journey and I could not put it down. God bless the author to write the true fiction story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read! And then to find out so much of the history in this book was true, made it all the better. I will read this book again. Props to the author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very inspiring book about keeping one's faith during times of trial and tribulations.
Julie Holley More than 1 year ago
gram45k More than 1 year ago
Great story and very well written. I enjoy Historical Fiction and this book did not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, clean, captivating story based on a real person's life. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
LAobserver More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book. I had just finished reading Julie Klassen's "The Apothecary's Daughter," which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. I was ready to be transported to another time in history. Unfortunately, I never really *liked* John. I found him self-absorbed and shallow. At the end of the book, the zinger is that this was supposed to be inspired by the true lives of John and Elizabeth Buynan...that gave me a moment's pause and actually redeemed the book for me a little bit. The book was engaging and drew me in, but I found too many of the characters to be poorly drawn and stereotypically good or evil. All in all, as much as I wanted to enjoy this book, I was mostly frustrated and dissatisfied with it until the very end. Sorry. All that said, I appreciate B&N for offering this book as a Friday Freebie....for the price, I can't complain. I got more than my $$'s worth. Thanks, B&N.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a difficult time with this book, the descriptions were very strong and too difficult to enjoy reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. I read in one sitting. Would enjoy more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the historical facts of the story. A very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
CaliforniaBestemor More than 1 year ago
This story sure makes me glad I'm living now instead of the times where women were so restricted that they weren't allowed to learn to read. Based upon the story of John Bunyan, who eventually wrote Pilgrim's Progress, the focus is upon the woman who became his second wife. She had a bit of backbone, but I couldn't really identify with her because she frustrated me by being too darned GOOD and not very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book even though it seemed to drag in spots. It is still a book I would read again or recommend to a friend.
foggidawn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Handsome widower John Costin would make a fine matrimonial catch for any young Puritan woman, but he's not interested in a second wife -- with his beloved first wife barely cold in the ground, he is resistant to even the idea of a housekeeper. However, his four children need someone to care for them while he pursues his calling to preach. Elizabeth Whitbread feels that caring for the motherless Costin children is her own calling, and she is determined to stand up to her family, her only suitor, the women of the community, and even John himself in order to provide care for the children. As she cares for the children and grows closer to the family, she finds her heart softening toward John -- but she also finds herself in very real danger from John's enemies, who will go to great lengths to silence and discredit him.This story, a fictionalized account of the relationship between John and Elizabeth Bunyan, stands out from others in the genre by exploring a relatively untouched period of Protestant history. The plot is slow at times, but the setting is well-researched and the characters are believable.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed the preacher's bride story. the characters seemed real and the setting was fitting the time.characters where enjoyable except for the ones that i was routing against. I found myself crying for part of the book. would read more of jody hedlund was a clean good book.
NWADEL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this very much! At the end the author wrote that she based the story on John Bunyon.John Costin will die before he stops doing Gods will. John Costin is a lowly tinker but his life is preaching the word of God to the people and he's very good at it. But, at what cost?Elizabeth came to help John and his family of 4. Johns wife died from childbirth and left 4 children, 1 of which is blind and another a newborn. Elizabeth finds herself in danger and she has no way out unless she gives in to her assailant but she is strong and will not let him deter her but is she strong enough?An awesome read, I highly recommend!
polingspig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just could not get into reading this book. I haven't any problem with the premise or the prose, I just was not interested.
Godsgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a good story and knowing it was about true people back in the Puritan times made it even better. It was not your typical sweet Christian novel, but showed the harsh realities of the times. I learned so much by reading it and now am inspired to find out more about these people and that time of history.
JaneSteen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Preacher's Bride is Jody Hedlund's début novel. It is NOT an Amish book as the cover might suggest. It is set at the end of the Puritan era in England, when the Royalists are just poised to bring back the King and regain control of the country. It is based on the story of John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrim's Progress, although the names and many incidents, including the ending, have been fictionalized.In many ways The Preacher's Bride is a straightforward, well-written romance: when tinker and lay preacher John Costin's wife dies, strong-willed Elizabeth Whitbread becomes his housekeeper and cares for his children. Will romance blossom? You bet it will. Like all good romances, the spark between the characters is obvious from the beginning, and the interest lies in seeing how they both work through their own feelings to their inevitable destination. In romances sexual attraction is not enough, and the situation is never fully resolved until there is also an emotional bond based on trust and shared experiences. The Preacher's Bride plays by all of these rules.What I found interesting was the background of a society in transition: I got a good sense of the radical split between the Puritan and Royalist factions, and the way a lay preacher fitted--or didn't fit--into a religious structure (in an era where the church ruled the country) which was just about to change. Those were violent times, and this is well represented; I had never really thought about just how vulnerable women were then, and I think that this was rather well brought out.I liked Elizabeth Whitbread's ordinariness: she's plain, she can't read, and she has a practical turn of mind. Despite her strong will she can be pretty submissive; that and her overwhelming desire to get married and have babies are a bit irritating to this modern woman, but I did try to bear in mind that anything else would have been anachronistic, given the historical era and Elizabeth's social position.I would have loved to have seen more description of what this part of England was like; John Costin spends a lot of time striding over a landscape that you never really see. I also had some issues with the way the characters spoke, which was possibly too uniform in tone given all the social and educational differences that could be found in the novel.But my overall impression was of an enjoyable read with a good strong ending and plenty of appeal to a reader looking for a satisfying story.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Preacher's Bride is a fictionalized account of the life of John Bunyon and his second wife, Elizabeth. John Bunyon was the author of Pilgrim's Progress.The book starts with the death of John Costin's (the character's name in this book) first wife. His newborn son is wailing with hunger and young Elizabeth Whitbread feels SOMETHING should be done. She defies the town's matriarchs to find a wetnurse for the baby. She feels called by God to help the family. She is soon appointed housekeeper to Brother Costin's four young children.Brother Costin is an unlicensed preacher at a time of religious upheaval in England. Cromwell had died leaving his son to rule. We all know how this worked out. Charles II is soon back on the throne and the Puritans are being persecuted right and left.The romance between Brother Costin and Elizabeth grows slowly and convincingly through much hardship and complication. The characters are believable and I really enjoyed the book and the story. I now want to find a copy of Pilgrim's Promise which, I am sad to say, I have never read. The author admits to a fair bit of license in her telling of the story.
mutedtempest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm usually not a big fan of Christian fiction, as I am not Christian myself and find that many books of the genre like to preach. This book, while following the life of a preacher, is not one of them. Based on the life of John Bunyon and his second wife, Elizabeth, this debut is interesting, realistic in dialogue and general feel, and very well written.The historical Puritan context fascinated me, as it was a period of time I hadn't studied very much previously. I will now be doing some research on it, as the book covered the religious and political struggles of the time period very well. I remained interested throughout the novel and cared about the characters, as they seemed very realistic and likable. This was an excellent book by a talented new author, and I look forward to seeing more of her work, especially historical fiction!
TABrowne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Hadn't realized until the end that it was based on a real historical person. It was a perfect mix of historical accuracy and details and romance. Was a little frustrated with the male character but realized that was a large part of the historical accuracy of it. Definitely would recommend you read this book if you enjoy historical romances. It is definitely Christian but that is a part of the details rather than being preachy. More of a biographical novel, then a you should make these changes in your Christian walk type of novel. Enjoy!