Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review of The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

Rating: 5 Stars
~   ~   ~
Synopsis from Bethany House: Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

Review: Jody Hedlund emerged last year with the riveting and emotional novel,The Preacher's Bride.  Her newest book, The Doctor's Lady, is infused with the historical detail, excitement, and depth that made The Preacher's Bride such a memorable read.  Hedlund has a remarkable talent of integrating true stories with elements of fiction to embellish the plot.  The Author's Note at the end of the novel added extra substance to an already poignant story.  Priscilla's journey as the first white woman to travel West is not just a fanciful musing of an author's imagination; it is based on actual events from the diary of Narcissa Whitman.  
The first 90 pages of The Doctor's Lady are set on the east coast and focus on the preparations for the journey West.  Once Priscilla, Eli, and their travel companions begin their trek, the plot picks up speed and reveals unexpected dangers, challenges, and blessings.  It is very easy to romanticize the past and the life of the brave pioneers who ventured into uncharted territory. Hedlund reminds readers of the hardships that Westward travelers faced, without creating a plot that is too sad or heavy.  The marriage-of-convenience concept is common in historical fiction novels, but the setting of The Doctor's Lady offer a fresh background. Watching the restrained love develop between Priscilla and Eli enhances the plot with just the right amount of romance. 
After several long and arduous months, Priscilla's and Eli's journey ends.  During the novel they  each grow individually and as a couple, risking their lives to follow their calling. From the first page to the very last page, The Doctor's Lady is a finely crafted novel.  The last two pages in particular showed Priscilla's growth from a sheltered and idealistic woman to a stronger, more open-minded woman. The conclusion is fully satisfying, tying up the story contained within the pages of the novel, while connecting it with the events mentioned in the Author's Note
I highly recommend both The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride, especially for fans of historical fiction.  I will wait with anticipation for Jody Hedlund's next novel!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Doctor's Lady

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review on my book! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


    Jody Hedlund



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...