Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Once again author Jody Hedlund has managed to write a story that not only captured my attention, but lifted my spirit with a positive message. Newton & Polly takes us back to that time in history that would not only change the life of one man in a remarkable way, but bring out of his conversion experience a song that has lasted for centuries.
The author has done a remarkable job in keeping to the facts of John Newton's life - his dealings in the slave trade, his disreputable character, his lack of morals and most of all his unbelief in God. I would like to say that Polly made him into a better man and she did, but it would take many years for him to grow into that man. Yet Polly's love for John and her belief that God had a purpose for him was clearly the hope John clung to in his lowest moments. The story of how far he sank into sin, was made all the poignant when he finally realizes God has been loving him and with him through it all.
This is the story of Amazing Grace and how God took a man who had rejected him and through the love of a good woman, changed him forever. I was not able to put this book down. I guarantee you won't be able to either.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"He hated his father. He hated God. Most of all he hated himself."
How could the same man, once filled with so much hate, manage to pen the words to one of Christendom's most beloved hymns? . . . . .. . The answer is startlingly simple, amazing grace.
It was love at first sight for John Newton. Polly Catlett had the voice of an angel, coupled with a face and form that a man could not easily forget. Innocent, enchanting and deeply religious, Polly embodied everything that Newton was not, for although young and intelligent, John Newton was daring, reckless and habitually irresponsible.
Paying the price for his obstinate behavior, John finds himself impressed into the British navy, violently punished for insubordination and ripped from any hope of a future with the lovely Polly. Yet his steadfast devotion to her memory, along with God's powerful, providential and unconditional love, ultimately saves Newton's life; paving the way for one of history's most incredulous stories surrounding a prodigal, who finds his way home.
"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see." Jody Hedlund has penned a masterpiece!
I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.