Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 4 stars!
Priscilla has felt the call to mission work for years, and the pull was only strengthened when she learned of her infertility. Determined to never marry because of her disgraceful state, she applies to the Missions Board to fulfill her missions call with work overseas in India.

She learns of the board's rejection to her application just as Eli Ernest comes into town seeking support for his start-up mission in Oregon territory, ministering to the Nez Perce tribe. But the board has denied Eli’s application as well. The reason for both denials: Unmarried missionaries are no longer being sent out.

Both yearning to fulfill God’s call to the mission field, Eli and Priscilla enter into a marriage of convenience and in name only. The mission board readily accepts them, and they set off on the treacherous 7 month journey to Oregon territory to start up the mission. It’s an unheard of trip for a lady, and if they succeed Priscilla will become the first white woman to ever cross the continental divide.

Covered Wagons were used for part of the journey.

The Doctor’s Lady is an entertaining and thoughtful look at traveling across the country in the early 19th century. It’s much more than just the average historical fiction, it really pulled me in and brought the experience to life.

Upon reaching the end of the book and reading the author’s note, I was surprised to learn that this book was actually inspired by the lives of real-life Narcissa and Marcus Whitman. Some of the basic outline for the story is taken from Narcissa’s personal diaries; learning this brought the story to life even more for me. The things these people endured to fulfill God’s call are truly inspiring.

I very much recommend The Doctor’s Lady, especially to fans of historical fiction. It’s a wonderful glimpse into the life and hardship that people endured, and a great example of never giving up your dreams or calling, no matter what the circumstances may be.

My rating: 4 stars
(I received this book courtesy of Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, a positive review was not required.)

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