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The Preacher's Bride

(Hearts of Faith)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,528 ratings  ·  573 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's
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Bethany House
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Serena Chase
Sep 24, 2011 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
Natalie Vellacott
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somehow, I skipped the fact that this book was historical fiction. Had I realised, I would have assumed that as with most books in this genre, the setting was historical rather than the characters. There is no mention anywhere obvious that this book actually tells the true story of John Bunyan, the author of The Pilgrim's Progress and his wife, the preacher's bride. The author's note at the end of the book reveals this not so minor detail and explains which parts are true and which have been cre ...more
This was my first read of a Hedlund novel, but it definitely won't be my last!

I was a little worried about how I would enjoy the Puritan setting, but once I got into it, the story flowed really well. The beginning was so dramatic, but in a good way! I was immediately sucked into the story. Thanks to this novel, I know that I can enjoy the Puritan setting now. I came to love Elizabeth, and although I never care for John the way I wanted to, his turn-around at the end was really sweet. Their roman
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
Sydney Betts
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this well-written, well-researched work of fiction based on John Bunyan's life. ...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 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 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
Keli Gwyn
May 27, 2010 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
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
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
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
The Good: Part of the fun of historical fiction is that it takes you back to days gone by; that's just what this book does. I've hardly heard much about Puritans outside of American history class, but, I knew enough about them to follow the story. This book covers a different period of history than I'm used to, but, I enjoyed it just the same.

The Bad: As good as this is, I found it to be a bit brutal in parts; the antagonist was rather disturbing, and not in the way I'm used to seeing. Sensitive
Katie Hamstead
I didn't expect this to be perfectly timed for Thanksgiving, but I'm glad it was! Learning about the puritans before they became pilgrims couldn't have been more perfect for the season.
Elizabeth's story begins when a mother dies soon after delivering her baby. Elizabeth, headstrong and bright, puts her talents and loving heart to the task of keeping the infant alive. Her faith gets her through, which is something I greatly admired, especially in the darkest times she faced. She's outspoken, but
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it

I’m a HUGE Jody Hedlund fan & have managed to read almost all of her books except I have never read her published debut. I listened to this book & loved the narrator!

This is a very stirring fictional account of the love story& life of John Bunyan. The romance was built up very well. Elizabeth the heroine is such a strong & sweet character. I can’t remember the last time I read a novel when the heroine’s faith & obedience inspired me so.

John was a meanie head for most of the book. Beware. He tur
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 about social structures and hierarchy 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
Annie Hogle
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book will hold your attention and keep you captivated until the final page!
Becky Fleming
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, for me, started out in a dismal , dreary way but that was indeed the life of Elizabeth and for many of the unfortunate peasantry in England during this time period. But as the story went on I grew to love Elizabeth’s strength and fortitude and humility. My arms ached to scoop up those pitiful children and soothe their tears. This book made me cry when John rejected Elizabeth’s full love for fear of what the future held. And thanks to this author, Jody Hedlund, I now have as good an un ...more
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.

This was an interesting look at this time period in History. I have always wanted to learn a little more about it. It amazes me that only preachers got to read and interpret the bible and I am very thankful to those men who gave up so much to fight for it being given to all men. I never thought about there wives. I was a little worried when I started this and found out they were Puritan's. I knew there would be a lot of preaching and repressed woman. The preaching is added nicely to the content ...more
Michelle Griep
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching at times, anger provoking at others, this is one read that connects with readers on many different levels.

I especially liked how Hedlund portrayed the harsh realities of seventeenth century life in rural England. She didn’t glam over but met head on tough topics such as infant mortality, death in childbearing and the very real threat of starvation.

Furthermore, she didn’t squirm from tackling difficult theological questions. Does suffering mean God’s not blessing you? What should
Jeannette Garcia
Jun 08, 2012 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
Sep 19, 2010 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.
JoJo Sutis
Oct 30, 2013 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. ...more
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.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I had a lot of skepticism going into this book- I find too many romance-themed books too cheesy with weak characters. It took a few chapters to convince me, but I enjoyed it overall. It’s a fictionalized version of John Bunyan’s story, and it has realistic twists because it’s based on history. Although there’s no real explanation for Elizabeth’s sudden interest in caring for John’s kids, I liked the relationship she had with them. John and Elizabeth were interesting characters- many others were ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so much better than I expected it to be. I looked at the cover and the title and thought it would be a silly romance novel. As it turned out, it was actually a well written story based on John Bunyan who wrote The Pilgrim's Progress but also focusing on Elisabeth, his second wife. I was surprised to find out that many of the details and characters were based on fact and transcripts. This book was an amazing view into the past world of the Puritans and their persecution. ...more
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Preacher's Bride

What a beautiful story! I'm so grateful for the chance to learn about John and Elizabeth Bunyan through the characters of John and Elizabeth Coster, and I appreciate the author's research and attention to the details of John and Elizabeth's life. The Pilgrim's Progress is one of my favorite stories and it was fascinating to learn about the life of the writer.
A great novel!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really sweet, semi-biographical story set in 1600s England, focusing on a young woman in a Puritan community there. It got off to a sluggish start, but I truly enjoyed the storytelling via audiobook once I powered through the beginning. Christianity and love are the focal points, with some historical events and customs also playing a big part. I had some struggles with the main character’s actions toward the middle-end, which seemed inconsistent. But I also could very much relate to th ...more
Jun 26, 2013 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
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Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

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 life, she’s learned that

Other books in the series

Hearts of Faith (3 books)
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