The Preacher’s Bride
Elizabeth Whitbread is a young Puritan woman living in Anglican England during the year 1659. At the opening of the novel, Elizabeth is attending the “laying out” of a young preacher’s wife who has died in childbirth. As Elizabeth infiltrates herself into the life of this grief-stricken family, out of altruistic concern for their welfare, she unknowingly finds herself allowing the widower into her heart.
The narrative combines memorable scenes of poignancy with intense moments of conflict. Set amidst the political turmoil of England during the exile of Charles II and the struggle for political and religious power, the book powerfully depicts the dangers of religious intolerance and overzealous governance.
The Preacher’s Bride blends historical details with an engaging plotline. Hedlund’s story, at its simplest level, is one of a woman fighting against the odds to achieve the dreams of her heart. It is highly recommended.