I love the old hymns and I love delving into the history behind what I love, so Jody Hedlund's latest book was a perfect fit for me. Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace told a story I thought I knew, but apparently didn't know very well because I had never heard of Polly.
Polly is a good girl who loves the Lord and strives to honor her parents. Newton is a charming boy who does exactly what he wants even when the consequences are severe. What he wants more than anything is Polly. He wants to spend time with her, marry her. He knows that she is the girl for him. Polly loves him too, but how can she be more than a friend to a boy who disregards everything she believes in?
The timeline of this book takes place over several years. Several years of Polly growing up into a godly woman and Newton getting into every sort of trouble imaginable. It shows Polly's struggle to do what is right and Newton's desire to get what he wants and get it his way. I ached for Polly and cringed at Newton's continued short comings.
Throughout the story we see how God used Polly even when she couldn't see it. We see how Newton's love for her kept him going and how God changed his heart. I found the story to be inspiring, not just because God used a man like Newton to write one of the greatest hymns of all time, but because of Polly. Sometimes God doesn't work in huge ways that you can see. Sometimes He might use you in such a subtle way that you don't see it until after the story has been written.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for my review.