THE DOCTOR’S LADY by Jody Hedlund was published this month and is 374 pages. I requested a copy for review because of how much I enjoyed Jody’s first book, THE PREACHER’S BRIDE. I ended up loving this book even more!
The novel begins in 1836 in Angelica, New York, where Priscilla White, an unmarried woman with a wish to be a Christian missionary in India, waits to find out her assignment. Her life takes an unexpected turn, however, when Dr. Eli Ernest, a single man in need of a wife in order to accept the sponsorship of the Mission Board for his own mission into the West, makes her a business proposal. If she will agree to marry him, on paper alone, they will get the approval of the Board, and each will be able to fulfill their calling. When she agrees, they set out on an adventure that takes them from New York, to Pittsburgh, to St. Louis, to Oregon Country where they not only discover much about the new land and people there, but their own hearts.
One of my favorite aspects of THE DOCTOR’S LADY is the historical rendering of the unexplored American wilderness. I was fascinated to learn about modes of transport, early settlements, and the interactions between Native peoples and whites. It is clear that Ms. Hedlund did her research, and she perfectly balances information and narrative.
I also enjoy the style in which the book is written. Ms. Hedlund paints such vivid portraits of her settings and characters that I could see every scene as clearly as if it was on film. She is also a master of tension and plotting. I turned pages long into the night, and finished the book in three days.
Finally, THE DOCTOR’S LADY represents quality romance reading. As a work of Christian historical romance, the faith of the characters in spite of adversity, and the purity of the love story are a breath of fresh air without ever feeling heavy-handed or overly-idealistic. Priscilla and Eli are human, realistically drawn characters and I missed them after I closed the pages of the book.
If you are a fan of historical romance, I highly recommend THE DOCTOR’S LADY. And because I enjoyed it so much, I’d like to give away a copy of the book. If you would like to win, kindly leave a comment about why this book sounds interesting to you, what you enjoyed about THE PREACHER’S BRIDE, or why you love historical fiction, in general. I will randomly select the winner on Friday, September 23rd.
Best of luck!
For more on Jody or her books, please visit her website at: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/