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Inspired by the true love story of John and Elizabeth Bunyan…

In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher–whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.Yet Elizabeth’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child–and man–she’s come to love.

Free downloads for The Preacher’s Bride:

Read an Excerpt
the Discussion Guide
Download the “Life in 1600′s England” Quiz
Listen to an Audio Interview


Awards for The Preacher’s Bride:


Editorial Reviews on The Preacher’s Bride:

    • Christianbook: “Jody Hedlund develops the setting and characters so well, that you become immediately immersed in the day to day lives of the period . . . If this book is any indication, we’ll be reading Jody Hedlund’s outstanding stories for years to come!” ~Dianne Burnett
    • RT Book Reviews: “In this remarkable debut based on the life of Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan, Hedlund shows a great talent for immediately transporting readers into her story. The pages turn faster with each chapter and the characters seem like old friends from the beginning.” ~Terri Dukes
    • Booklist: “In her historical inspirational fiction debut, Hedlund crafts a penetrating narrative about loss, love, and the sacrifices that are made for one’s faith . . . The strength, chastity, and faithful zeal of both main characters will resonate strongly with fans of inspirational historical fiction. Based loosely on the second marriage of John Bunyan, a hero of the faith and author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Hedlund’s novel exemplifies the struggles of the Puritan preachers and their “well-beloved” wives.” ~ Elizabeth Ponder
    • Christian Library Journal: “Jody Hedlund has a gift with words and an imagination that effortlessly brings stories to life. Set in Bedford, England, in the year 1659, she takes you on a wonderful adventure of the hardships that the Puritans faced in preaching the Gospel. The plot is well thought out and developed. Based on the life of Elizabeth Bunyan, the story contains many surprises and vividly shows the hardships that she must have faced . . . The main characters are devout Puritans and the plot is centered around the time that the persecution from the Royalists began against the Puritans. Elizabeth rises to the challenge, and while she has her faults and human desires, her character is strong and sets a wonderful example of the Proverbs 31 woman.” ~Katy McCurdy


Blog Reviews of The Preacher’s Bride:

  • Julia M. Reffner of Dark Glass Ponderings: “Lyrical. Rich in textured historical detail. Breathtakingly romantic, with in-depth relationships. Spiritually satisfying and faith-challenging. Heart-pounding, can’t flip pages fast enough action. The Preacher’s Bride is all these things and more.”
  • Amy Riley of My Friend Amy: “I was quickly sucked into John and Elizabeth’s world and cheering on their romance! This is a very compulsive read, with fantastic romantic tension and suspense. The pacing is brisk and the characters recognizable.”
  • Sarah Sundin’s blog: “Don’t let the bonnet on the cover fool you. [This] is not an Amish book.The Preacher’s Bride is historical fiction done right. The setting and period details are rich and fascinating and well researched, but never overwhelm the story. And the story is beautiful.”
  • Rel of Relz Reviewz: “The Preacher’s Bride is a stunning novel of emotional depth, historical detail and overarching hope, its excellence belying its status as author Jody Hedlund’s debut novel.”
  • Jessica Bell of The Alliterative Allomorph: “Wow. This book kept me up all night. Every chapter ended in the most ‘annoying’ cliffhanger. ‘Annoying’ is probably the wrong word because I mean it in a totally positive way! :o Its tone reminded me greatly of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.”
  • Casey Herringshaw of Writing for Christ: “Characters that speak to the heart, a historical setting that shines with vibrancy and a story draws the reader into the heart, The Preacher’s Bride is a historical gem that will not be leaving my favorite shelf.”
  • Shannon O’Donnell of Book Dreaming: “I loved this book. Truly. Madly. Deeply. In fact, I know that I cannot possibly do it justice in this review – forgive me, Jody. Your book deserves to be praised loudly from high places! Seriously.”


Did You Know?

Civil Marriage Act of 1653
. . . there was once a time when the use of wedding rings was forbidden?In England, the Civil Marriage Act of 1653, prevented weddings from taking place in a church and didn’t allow the accompanying traditions either. Instead couples were required to get married by a civil magistrate in an office building.

1650s England Puritans banned Christmas. . . for a number of years Christmas was completely banned— all feasting, caroling, decorating, and even nativity scenes were illegal?

In the 1650’s in England, Puritans believed Christmas was an immoral excuse for excessive drinking, eating, and gambling. Even the word Christmas was frowned upon as taking the Lord’s name in vain.


Most Puritan girls could not read


. . . if you were a young peasant woman of the 17th century, you probably wouldn’t know how to read or write?

The higher classes generally did not favor the education of any peasants to prevent them from aspiring above their station. While boys could attend a local school, any education a girl received was at home.

Tinsmiths studied for years


. . . you wanted to be a tinker or a tinsmith, it would take years and years before you could “graduate” and become your own boss?

A tinsmith was a person who made and repaired things made of tinware. An apprenticeship took 4 to 6 years. After that the tinker would need to become a journeyman and work several more years before finally qualifying to become a master smith.

Babies were swaddled for up to a year!
. . . most babies were tightly swaddled for the first year of their life?

Some child-care manuals of the 1600’s advised swaddling until only eight or nine months. Mothers were encouraged to swaddle their babies to give the babies’ bodies straight posture and also to keep them from crawling.


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The Preacher's Bride


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