Friday, December 11, 2015

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbria By Jill Dalladay

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

The dramatic story of a seventh-century evangelist

Chosen as Eostre s handmaid, Hild will serve the fertility goddess for a year before being wed. Her future is predictable until King Edwin claims her as kin and she learns that her father was murdered.
Her first love is given a command in Edwin s forces and vanishes from her life, wed to her sister. The court is baptized, ending the old religion and Hild s role. Life looks bleak. She can t stop wondering who killed her father.
Suspecting Edwin, she challenges him, only to be married off to safeguard his northern frontier. Struggling in a loveless marriage, she is intrigued by the Iona priests making pilgrimages to spread Christ s love. When home and family are lost in Oswy s sack of Edinburgh, she finds herself in enemy hands, but meets the charismatic Aidan.
Inspired and guided by him, she builds communities to live and teach Christ s love. She attracts followers. Even her old enemy, King Oswy, entrusts his child to her, gives her Whitby, and seeks her help to reconcile divisions in his kingdom.
She never ceases battling against old superstitions resurrected by storm, plague, and solar eclipse, but at last she receives a bishop s blessing from a man she trained herself.

My Thoughts: 

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbia is Jill Dalladay's debut novel and it is fantastic. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction and of debut authors, I couldn't not pass of the opportunity to read this.  This book takes place in 7th Century Medieval England, where beliefs are in the gods and goddesses, making sacrifices in their names but the belief of the One God is starting to pick up throughout the world. This story starts when Hild is 12 years old and goes through her life and her role in Christianity in England. I learned so much about Christianity's beginnings, the ending of the worship of many gods, and 7th Century England. I am not very familiar with this time in history so there were many things I found myself looking up and reading more about. Jill Dalladay writes with authority about 7th Century England, beliefs of that time, the hierarchy of this time, and the ups and downs of war.  I found myself in awe of  how the transition from pagan religion to Christianity took place, how Christianity was spread throughout the countries, and how whole countries accepted Christ and were baptized. Even Hild's story shows the transformation from pagan worship to acceptance of the Christ. I found myself unable to put this book down as I found myself caught up in Hild's story.  I enjoyed Jill Dallady's style of writing and am excited to read more from her. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially about Christianity.  I give this book 4.5 STARS.

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