Newton and Polly

29358388Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

5 Star


One of the best parts of diving into historical fiction, is the ability of the author to breathe life into something. In this case, Jody Hedlund brings to life once again that of a real life figure– John Newton.

Early on, I was drawn into this story. Newton is a man who is very focused on himself, and in a way that is completely relatable. Time and again, we see his own desires for his life being refused and his will being broken down over and over. Knowing that John Newton is the man who penned “Amazing Grace,” and reading this telling of his life, has helped add a bit more depth to what that song meant to him and what that song can also mean for me.

As for the book itself, Newton and Polly is a wonderful novel. Polly is enchanting and Newton is charming and mischevious. The story kept me guessing and anticipating what would happen next. At times the book turns dark with topics such as slavery, and at others it’s a bit more light-hearted with a bit of sibling fun. But throughout the book, there is a strong theme of God’s mercy.

For myself, I was excited to continue this book every time I picked it up. Of all of Hedlund’s novels I’ve read (and that’s most of them), this one is almost poetic at times and a book that I find myself rereading passages because there is so much beauty and depth in the words written on the page. I can’t reccommend Newton and Polly enough to anyone interested in John Newton or just historical fiction in general.

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