The Doctor's Lady
by Jody Hedlund
Priscilla White planned on going to India to become a missionary. She'd prayed, planned, and prepared, sure that God was calling her to go. When her plans were sidetracked by the Missionary Board's newest requirement - that all missionaries be married couples - she was stunned. Surely there was a way around it. She'd vow to be devout, celibate, whatever it took to bring the Gospel to the poor heathens in that distant land. This was 1836, after all, and she was a strong, modern Christian woman.
Dr. Eli Ernest's visit to Priscilla's church in Angelica, New York was no different from any of the other church visits. He hoped to drum up support for his journey west to minister to the Nez Perce Indians in Oregon Territory. People were misinformed about the gentle Native American tribe, thinking that they were savages. Most church members sent missionary dollars overseas, perhaps unaware of this worthy cause in their own country. Eli wrestled with the Missionary Board's new decision too; he needed to return west before next winter. A wife? Out of the question. A woman had never traveled across the continent; she wouldn't survive the trip.
Sparks fly when Priscilla and Eli first meet. The pair publicly clash, revealing facets of their strong willed character. When a suggestion is made that they marry to solve the Missionary Board decision dilemma, they initially resist. Fueled by a desire and conviction to fulfill their callings, however, they relent, make a deal to be married in name only, and embark on the dangerous cross country journey.
Their journey is fraught with hardship, peril, and awkwardness (a fellow traveler is Priscilla's former beau). Priscilla is determined to brave the wilderness without being a burden to Eli. It is not long, however, before she questions whether her decision to go west was really God's will. Eli is happy enough to have a wife and the Missionary Board's support, but is not pleased with the burden that a woman adds to the trip. He tries to remain detached in case the rigors of the trip are too much and he must send Priscilla back to New York. Likewise, Priscilla keeps her growing feelings to herself, keeping their "business deal" in mind. Tension and misunderstandings ensue as they inch closer to their destination in the northwest.
If I were to rate this book, I would give it five stars. Jody Hedlund is a excellent storyteller; I was engaged from beginning to end. I view Jody's books as not only a pleasure to read, but as an example of fabulous historical fiction. As a writer, I observe plot, characters, style, description, and the other ingredients necessary to make a story great. Jody does it all well! I highly recommend this book. Can't wait until her next book comes out.
Jody Hedlund will be stopping by for an interview this Thursday, October 13. I invite you to join us! She's generously offered a copy of The Doctor's Lady to one of my followers. Please note the following details.
To be Eligible for the Giveaway:
- You must be a follower and leave a comment, with email address, on this or Thursday's post.
- Gain bonus entries by posting this on Facebook, your blog, &/or Twitter. Please include link with your comment.
- Open to residents of the United States only.
- Deadline to enter is noon EST, Saturday, October 15, 2011. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced Monday, October 17.
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I received a influencer copy of The Doctor's Lady from Bethany House. No compensation was received.