“Newton & Polly” ~ Book Review

Oct 3, 2016 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! I’m so glad you could join me again. Today I am reviewing Jody Hedlund’s book, Newton & Polly.


As is my custom, if I could ask Jody one question about Newton & Polly it would be — “What enticed you to write a story about John Newton?” And if you want to know why I asked that question, I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out!


And without further ado, onto Rachel’s Back Talk!

From the Back Cover:

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.


Rachel’s Back Talk:

5 – award winning covers

newton-and-polly  newton-and-polly  newton-and-polly  newton-and-polly  newton-and-polly

Where true life meets historical fiction. Where a sinner meets Amazing Grace. Where passion meets true love.

If there is a story I love, it is the story of John Newton and Polly Catlett. Ever since I watched Amazing Grace on Broadway, I feel in love with John and Polly (also known as Mary in the musical). While there are always differences between a musical and a book, I couldn’t be more satisfied with how Jody depicted Newton and Polly’s story!

This story had my heart racing, my eyes filling with tears, and my soul spiritually filled. This is a story that will move you and the best part about it is — it’s based on a true story! I love those combos. 🙂

Polly is a character that so many Christian young girls can relate to. She longs for a “happily ever after,” but she is also intent on searching for God’s will. When she meets John Newton, it seems life couldn’t get more confusing since he seemed to hate God, and yet she falls in love with him. She tries to do the right thing of putting John from her mind, but God continues to bring the two together in a wonderful way.

The same with John. I hurt for all that he had to go through. It was brutal, and you knew that it was his own doing. The redemption that comes to John’s life is absolutely beautiful. A wonderful reminder for everyone of the never-failing love of Christ!

But it was the relationship between John and Polly, and their relationship with Christ that was truly sweet. John never gave up on loving Polly. {*SPOILER* As John grew and matured, his “first-love attraction” grew into true love. Though Polly tried her hardest to get over John, she always loved him and wanted what was best for him. And that is how it is with Christ — Christ never gives up on us and always offers love and forgiveness when we come to him. }


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which I have given. 


More books by Jody Hedlund I will read next: 

For Love and Honor

Unending Devotion

The Doctor’s Lady

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