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The Preacher's Bride (Hearts of Faith)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  4,041 Ratings  ·  455 Reviews
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'
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Bethany House (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Serena Chase
Sep 24, 2011 Serena Chase rated it really liked it
I'll be honest. I did not enter this book with a positive attitude. For one thing, it looked like a typical, Christian bonnet-book, to which I hold a bit of, ahem, prejudice against. And secondly: I hated the title.

When I see the word "bride" in a novel's title, I tend to expect a way-too-sweet, formula romance -- the kind that makes you want to go suck on a jalapeno just to temper the aftergag. But...that's not what I got with Jody Hedlund's new novel. I got a thoughtfully written, emotionally
Sydney Betts
Feb 15, 2016 Sydney Betts rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this well-written, well-researched work of fiction based on John Bunyan's life.
Pauline Ross
I'm not exactly in the target audience for this book. It's described as an 'inspirational historical romance', and I don't do romance, I don't do historical and I certainly don't do inspirational. So what on earth am I doing reading it? Well, the author, Jody Hedlund, writes a blog about her authorial and family life that I rather enjoy. She sounds like a nice lady, who writes in her spare time, while also home-schooling five young children. Presumably she doesn't chain them up in the cellar whi ...more
Keli Gwyn
Oct 06, 2010 Keli Gwyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Author Jody Hedlund swept me into another world in The Preacher's Bride, that of grieving Puritan preacher, John Costin, and his stouthearted housekeeper, Elizabeth Whitbred. Hedlund's use of historical detail and period language brought the setting to life, her engaging characters captured me from the start, and her gripping story had me turning pages into the wee hours of the morning. The tale, based on the lives of the author of The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan, and his second wife, enable ...more
SUMMARY: 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 d ...more
Karen Jones
Sep 03, 2011 Karen Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read, and enjoyed, historical romance before. But, this is the first one I've encountered based on the Puritan way of life. I normally go for a good mystery or a crime drama with offbeat humor. Lately I've been indulging in young-adult paranormal. I'm also a big sic-fi fan and I throw in the occasional classic now and then. So, it would stand to reason that I might hold a small fear of this book turning out to be dull. I mean, come on... Puritans. How can that be engaging and romantic?

Carrie Pagels
Nov 08, 2011 Carrie Pagels rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carrie by: Gina Welborn
A very good book.
Why I listened to this: Another writer friend, a preacher’s wife, highly recommended this book and gave it a glowing review. It is also set during a time period that I enjoy.

Formats: I listened to this as an audiobook that I downloaded through and it was a fairly long book. Also available as a softcover, a hardcover large print book, and in CDs!

Caution: Violence, including a whipping scene with so many lashes that most people would have died from the injuries. U
JoJo Sutis
Oct 30, 2013 JoJo Sutis rated it it was amazing
Stayed up late last night finishing "The Preacher's Bride" for a book club my library is hosting & WOW! I was not expecting the feelings this story caused in me. Elizabeth is such a wonderful heroine and the love between her and John is one of those classic romance stories I'll never forget. God has gifted this author with an amazing talent.
Mar 29, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-keeper-shelf
Even based on a true story knowing that things worked out, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they'd do so. The threat of death so real, the question of whether or not they could make a go of it nail-biting.
Holly Weiss
The Preacher’s Bride is a lovely read. The intriguing cover drew me in and as I read I was immediately transported and immersed in the day to day lives of the Puritans of 17th century England. Set in the framework of the rancor between English Royalist and the Puritans, the book’s message is that enduring faith, children and family trump persecution. I was unable to put the book down until I learned the fates of John Costin, a tinker “called to mend souls not just kettles” and his housekeeper.

Shari Larsen
The title might make you think that this is a light historical romance, but it's not. It's loosely based on the life of Elizabeth Bunyan, wife of John Bunyan, the author of "Pilgrims Progress."

It takes place in the 1650's, during Oliver Cromwell's last days of reigning over England, when the Puritans are losing their freedoms to the powers of the Royalist. Preacher John Costin is one of those in danger. Costin's wife dies in childbirth, leaving him with a newborn, a blind daughter, and two other
Jeannette Garcia
Jun 15, 2012 Jeannette Garcia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic read! I have a habit of reading books blindly... meaning I don't like to read the description prior to reading the novel. I didn't realize that this story was modeled after John and Elizabeth Bunyan. However, that didn't change the fact that it was an incredible and somewhat true story. I just loved the premise of this story... the perseverance during tribulation shows the true character of a godly person. I rarely highlight when I read on my kindle, but I couldn't resist highli ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Christy rated it it was amazing
What a tremendous read this was. It has been on my shelf for some time waiting for me to dive in. Alas I have greatly enjoyed reading about Elizabeth and John. What a woman Elizabeth was; real grit and outspoken but also soft and vulnerable at the same time. I wondered what became of Mary; she is probably the most memorable child I've ever read about. The trials they faced were true testament to not only believing in Christ but willing to follow Him no matter the cost. My only slight tilt of my ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Elentarien rated it liked it
This one was actually far more interesting than I was anticipating. I tend to dislike stories about religious sects such as this one, and restrictive societies can make me want to climb the walls. But this one was actually not as focused on the 'Puritan' sect as much as I expected, instead focusing on the characters, the situation and how it was for these people at a specific time in history.

All in all, a very good read, with a satisfactory ending. :)
Sep 20, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
I've been looking for a book that would touch me and I found it in "The Preacher's Bride." It immediately grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. The story begins in Bedford, England, May 1659. It follows the struggles of a puritan woman, Elizabeth Whitbread, as you are sucked into her faith filled and guided life.

This book truly touched me and I will be recommending it to all.
I really did not care for this book. I found it depressing, probably I just do not care for the era in which the story takes place.
soooooo good. I had had to put it down for a time because library books came in, but once I picked it back up to read, I was hooked! read it in two days.
Jun 10, 2016 anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I must say first off, I really, really wish American authors would take the trouble to familiarize themselves with the governmental and political system of Great Britain and its history before writing anything that involves it in their works. I could say the same thing of social structures and heirarchy as well. I'm serious. This is meant to be a slightly modified version of the story of John Bunyan set a shortly after the end of the English Civil War.
Yet, throughout the two different sides are
Jun 26, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it
This is the second Jody Hedlund book I have read, and I have learned this very important thing in the process: Do not start reading one of her novels unless you have time to sit and read it! She hooks you in and captures your imagination, and the fact that you don't know how the story wraps up will be ever-present in the back of your mind until you sit down and finish the book. All in the best possible way, of course! It's tortuous and thoroughly enjoyable all at the same time. Please tell me yo ...more
Sep 13, 2016 Jen rated it liked it
I really liked this book actually. It's a historical fiction based on John Bunyon (the guy who wrote pilgrims progress) and his wife Elizabeth. The story was actually well written. I'm even more impressed that the woman who wrote this has 4 kids of her own and homeschools. I! The romance leading up to the marriage was sweet. I just have a few things that niggled, and for some reason they bothered me more than they should. The first one being the language. Now these are pilgrims...this ...more
Beckie Burnham
Aug 25, 2015 Beckie Burnham rated it really liked it
The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund explores a part of history I knew hardly anything about — the latter days of the rule of Oliver Cromwell following the English Civil War. Okay, I should know about Puritans, right? That subject is introduced in every Kindergarten classroom in America. They came to the New World for religious freedom, but what did religious intolerance and persecution in England really look like? Through the eyes of Elizabeth Whitbread and John Costin, the reader gets a good l ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Kelli rated it liked it
Hedlund knows how to start a story. The opening is very engrossing. And I really do think she did a good job with character development, I felt like I knew who Elizabeth was and who John was. I usually don't enjoy books about Puritans or the Amish, so I was happy to find the beginning fun to read.
The intensity of the story is what propels the rest of the book. The story flows really well, and I can tell that Hedlund did her reading on the real John Bunyan. Although, I am sure some things aren't
Kate (Too Read or Not Too Read)
Oh, my goodness! I can't believe I haven't read The Preacher's Bride till now! Jody Hedlund knocked this story, her debut book, out of the park! Like the previous books I have read by Jody, they grab a hold and do not let go till the end...however, even then I still want more.

Jody Hedlund took a prominent figure in Christianity, John Bunyan, and brought him back to life in the form of John Costin, showing us what it could have been like back in this turbulent period of time. For those that do no
Aug 10, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
Just when I thought I knew about Puritans…here’s a novel about one of the most famous ones in history. And a great one too!

Jody Hedlund paints a vivid and accurate picture of the Puritan culture and era centuries ago in The Preacher’s Bride. While the Puritans lived out their faith much different from the way I live mine, there is plenty to learn from. I found it historically intriguing as well, from the conflict (and often persecution) that happened depending on which English king or queen took
The Preacher’s Bride stars off with a bang of emotions and immediately you are enthralled in the story of the preacher John. I literally felt like I could cry within the first few pages…that is until bold and courageous Elizabeth steps in to save the day…and the baby!!

John loses his wife to the after child fever and is left with small children and a newborn baby struggling to survive. This situation would be hard on any man but he is also a new and controversial preacher and is home very seldom
May 17, 2016 Abigail rated it liked it
According to the author's note at the end, this is a fictionalized story of John Bunyan and his wife. Except it's not really. I've read several books like this lately, where the author takes a historical character and writes a fictionalized account of them. I've noticed that often, these books start out really strong, they have a decent story and I get all into them. Unfortunately they tend to kind of drop off towards the end. (view spoiler) ...more
Jamie (LadyJai) Dement
Sep 26, 2011 Jamie (LadyJai) Dement rated it it was amazing
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 an
2.75 -- I liked this somewhat, but there were some things that I thought were unrealistic: (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
This book was about Elizabeth Whitbread whose father was a baker. She started working for John Costin as a housekeeper when his wife died of childbirth and left him with three children and a baby. She is threatened when she decides against getting information for a strange man and he attempts to kill her many times. Elizabeth and John are tested many times but they follow their hearts.

Wide Reading Questions:
1. I decided to read this book because Jody Hedlund is a very good author and when I rea
Aug 03, 2015 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This one came up as a recommendation on Amazon, and I was sucked in because of the author's last name. (No relation, as far as I know.) I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I didn't realize until I read the author's note at the end that it was loosely based on the life of Elizabeth Bunyan, wife of John Bunyan of Pilgrim's Progress fame. I think I might have appreciated it more knowing that going in, but the things that bothered me would have probably bothered me even more.

The stor
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Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real lif
More about Jody Hedlund...

Other Books in the Series

Hearts of Faith (3 books)
  • The Doctor's Lady
  • Rebellious Heart

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“Moreover, Jesus showed love to the lowest, poorest, sickest people. As His followers, He calls us to do the same.” 1 likes
“Hardships are the Lord’s greatest blessing to the believer. Without them we would love the Lord only for what He does for us. Our troubles teach us to love Him for who He is.” 1 likes
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