Book Review Of 5 Puritan Women: Portraits of Faith and Love

by | Mar 10, 2023 | All About Books, Book Reviews | 0 comments

“There is no object that we see, no action that we do, no good that we enjoy, no evil that we feel fear, but we may make some spiritual advantage of all.”  – Anne Bradstreet

This thought-provoking quote by author and poet, Anne Bradstreet is one of many that lets us glimpse into the trials of her life. As one of the five Puritan women fleshed out by Jenny-Lyn de Klerk in her recent book, 5 Puritan Women: Portraits of Faith and Love, Bradstreet shows resilience and faith in the face of adversity. The lives of these five women demonstrate wisdom and unrelenting faith amid the darkest times of their lives and encourage us that all actions from us or those placed upon us have spiritual advantages. 

Why Read About Puritan Women?

Have you ever read about Puritan women and how the roles they played within their communities? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, I have talked to very few people who are intimately familiar with Puritan women at all. That is why I was thrilled to read this book! Jenny-Lyn de Klerk clearly and beautifully narrated vital aspects of the lives of:

  • Agnes Beaumont
  • Lucy Hutchinson
  • Mary Rich
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • Lady Brilliana Harley

The stories of these women contain heartache, faithfulness, lament, and a strong desire to draw closer to God in every season. Although many Puritans are misunderstood, especially the women, the lives of these women couldn’t prove anything further from the opposite. 

Spiritual Encouragement

Through death, fires, wrongful accusations, family estrangement, and more, these women continued to pursue God’s face to carry them through the most trying times. Reading their stories gave me hope and encouragement to desire a hunger for God. Although these women were not sinless and struggled with temptations as we do, their unrelenting desire to overcome them and put on the power of God can encourage us to do the same. 

Shaping Our Faith

It’s so easy to allow the hardships of the world to cast a shadow over our joy. While these women faced discouraging and dark times in their lives, they ran back to their faith and cloaked themselves in the truth of Scripture. Knowing these women walked similar roads hundreds of years before us can help shape our faith as we pursue a deeper understanding of how they determined to know God more. 

I enjoyed this book so much! While I have many books and articles focusing on the lives and ministries of Puritan men, this was a wonderful introduction to the world and roles of Puritan women. It greatly encouraged me to pursue my own studies of these women and how their roles in this time period of history impacted the future of those around them and how they lived out the Gospel. I encourage you to grab a copy and dive a little deeper into the world of these Puritan women.