Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Doctor's Lady (Judy Hedlund)

Lately, I've been in a reading mood, which of course, means that I've been scrounging amazon for new books. So I decided to share my newest read with you.

As I always do, I skimmed a sample of the writing in google books, but I liked what I saw, so I bought it (It was a fairly cheap ebook). Honestly, I won't pay more than five dollars for an ebook. If it costs more than that, I prefer a hard copy. For a hard copy and a hard copy alone will I put out $10. But that's just me.

Anyways, Jody Hedlund's writing (I had never picked up anything by her before) was incredibly reminiscent of Janette Oke to a certain extent. I didn't expect that. But I believe, her style is largely in part due to the fact that the Doctor's Lady was inspired by Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

I didn't realize the historical relevance until I read the author's note, but it was such a sweet story (and I do appreciate good research) that I wanted to applaud her for turning a true story into an engaging, novel-worthy story.

Here's the BCC:
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.
I really enjoyed the book. For the most part, I don't read, "based on a true story" type books because true story don't always carry the same tension that something more fictional might. Still, I loved the historical details, many of which were direct parallels to the Whitman story, even the secondary characters of Mr. and Mrs. Spalding. And maybe I'm biased because one of my own characters is doctor, but Eli Earnest was amazing. He and Priscilla... oh my goodness, I looked forward to every scene where they were in the same space (I can't say "room" because they were on a wagon train) because they would have the best conversations.

If you enjoy the history of the west, or even the history of American evangelism and mission work - this book give great insight (with a wonderful flare of romance). She really captured the idea that often, People of the early 1800s (in this case, the 1830s) believed that the Native American ways (in this book, the Nez Perce) were heathen and inferior - it was their job to civilize them - rather than simply bring Christ into the culture. I suppose I never considered that. But Priscilla definitely enters the story with this worldview (Eli challenges her).

But in summary, I would count this book among my favorite combinations of "historical" and "romance" in the truest sense.

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