Christian fiction has come a long way in the past 20 years. Less crying and helplessness and more strength and resolve in today’s heroines. Jody Hedlund’s new book, “The Doctor’s Lady,” is one instance where the main female character is strong and brave–not weak and wimpy.
“The Doctor’s Lady” is based on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, American missionaries who choose to marry so that they could fulfill their dreams of spreading the Gospel. According to the novel, Priscilla (Narcissa’s character) has plans to go to India as a teacher-missionary, but can’t because she isn’t married. Meanwhile, Dr. Elijah Ernest (based on Marcus’ character) wants to start a medical clinic in the Oregon Territory, but is not supported by the American Mission Board because he’s not married. Through a set of circumstances, Prisilla and Eli meet, go through the angst of whether they should marry, decide to make their marriage a business partnership (re: platonic only), and later, fall in love.
The story is exciting and emotional–but in a realistic sense. Hedlund uses wonderful writing to present 3-D characters who deal with disappointment, loss, sickness, and adversary.
I give this book five out of five stars. I put Hedlund’s writing right up there with Francine Rivers and Kristen Heitzmann. And I recommend this book to you if love romance, strong characters, and an adventurous story based on early American history. Currently, I’m reading Hedlund’s first book called the “Preacher’s Bride,” based on John and Elizabeth Bunyan.