Historical fiction means much more when it’s been inspired by a true story, and that’s just what Jody Hedlund gives her readers in The Doctor’s Lady.
It is 1836, and Priscilla White knows she has been called to be a missionary teacher in India. She is just as sure that God has called her to remain single, but the Mission Board has decided young, single women are not fit for the dangerous mission field, and have turned down her application.
Dr. Eli Ernest is also bound for the mission field – as a doctor to the native tribes in the newly discovered northwest. He has spent a year among the tribes in Oregon, and longs to return, but the Mission Board supporting him has determined that he must take a wife along, or not return at all.
In order for both of them to fulfill God’s call, Priscilla and Eli decide to marry – in name only. But even as they start their journey west, have the seeds of romance already been planted?
Jody Hedlund was inspired by the story of Narcissa and Marcus Whitman, missionaries to the Nez Perce Indians in the early 1800’s. Mrs. Hedlund drew extensively from the Whitman’s diaries for her story, giving the incidents along the way the true flavor of authenticity.
The Doctor’s Lady is Mrs. Hedlund’s second book (her first was her award-winning The Preacher’s Bride, 2010), and I hope we will be able to enjoy many more offerings. Her next book, Unending Devotion, is due out September, 2012, and is available for pre-order now.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my unbiased review.