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 throne (Henry VIII, then his daughters Mary and Elizabeth).
And now I know why the Puritans high tailed it to the U S of A.
I really enjoyed the story and her characters. I liked that the main character Elizabeth was a strong woman with a feisty spirit, who stood up for what was right and could give a much needed tongue lashing to some well deserving people. I really enjoyed the story of her and John and what they went up against. Times were different, but love never really changes does it?
Looking at the culture of England and specifically the Puritan culture in the 1600s, I can’t help but chuckle at the differences. Example A) Elizabeth freaking out over seeing a man without a shirt on. Oh how different today is! One look at a Victoria Secrets commercial and they would have died. But it shaped much of history and it’s a fascinating time period to study. Probably why I enjoyed it so much.
I didn’t realize until after I finished that this story was based upon real life preacher, John Bunyan and his second wife Elizabeth. So sad to think there really were horrible people who thrived off of harming others with violence and intimidation. Even worse that there are still people like that today.
History sidenote: Bunyan wrote one of the classics of Christian literature, Pilgrim’s Progress (you can get it free for the kindle), and is a key figure in Christianity history (he was in prison for twelve years for preaching scripture). His book inspired C.S. Lewis’ Pilgrim’s Regress (another creative read that documents Lewis’ conversion).
Have you read any of Jody or John’s books? What do you think?