The Doctor's Lady
by Jody Hedlund
(Bethany House, September, 2011)
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
5 stars~ *****
The Doctor's Lady takes us on an exciting, but arduous journey, as two couples begin a trek across country to minister to the Nez Perce Indians in Oregon in the early 1800s. Priscilla White, feels God has called her to minister to the people of India, never to be a wife or mother as the drs. have all pronounced her incapable of ever being able to bear a child. However, just as the missions board refuse her because she is single, Dr. Eli Ernest offers Priscilla an interesting proposal...to become his business partner and travel with him to start a mission in Oregon for the Nez Perce tribe. However, they too must be married, and decide to do that, but in "name only".
Eli Ernest has no interest in taking a lady with him, for to do so would bring added danger and slow him down. His passion, however, is to start a mission and bring salvation to the Indians, and if he has to take a woman, so be it. Eli carries a heavy burden of guilt on his shoulders for not being able to protect his sisters and father as a child, so he is fiercely protective of Priscilla. As Priscilla finds herself falling in love with Eli, and is constantly rebuffed by him, the battle raging within her heart is as bad as the torrential river, that almost drowns her at it's crossing, the bone-tiring weariness of the journey, and the danger that lurks around every path.
After suffering from flea bites, a near rape, cholera, and constant Indian threats, Priscilla and Eli, and their partners, face their biggest obstacle yet....crossing the Blue Mountain Range to reach their final destination. Will they make it, or will their dreams end in in defeat or even death? The author's note at the end had some surprises and heartbreak that I wasn't aware of while reading this book, and only served to make me love this book even more!
I love alot of author's work, but I have my favorites narrowed down to ten...ten that I just have to read their new novels as they are released! After reading The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady, Jody Hedlund is now on my top FIVE favorite authors list. This book was utterly fantastic and a must read for all historical fiction lovers! Jody's writing style was impeccable and totally realistic...the romance was heart racing and exciting...the conclusion very satisfying. This book will surely win many awards! Outstanding job, Jody!
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