Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Doctor's Lady
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.
My Take: In short -- Jody Hedlund is another new author for me and this book took my breath away.
The basic things were very well done. She did her research and I felt like I was traveling with Priscilla and Eli as they went through the trials of reaching their new mission field. The author's notes at the end were fascinating as well. I also think the pacing was very good -- none of it seemed to lag or move too quickly. Although faith plays a part in their individual lives and the plot of the story, it doesn't feel like a sermon disguised as a novel either. That's an easy mistake to make. It's feels organic and natural instead of heavy-handed or something that was added in as an afterthought.
Still, the real fireworks for me were the depth of the characters she created. Both of them evolve and grow as individuals - not just in their relationship to each other. Don't be dismayed though, that delicious romantic tension was providing enough sparks to light a campfire or two ... ;o)
The writing was great, the story was compelling, the characters were fascinating ... This book is going on the list I use to pick my favorites of the year. I want to thank Bethany House for providing my copy in exchange for my honest review.