The Doctor's Lady, by Jody Hedlund is a historical novel about Priscilla, a young woman of status with a yearning to serve as a missionary in India, and Eli, a doctor who is trying to reach the Indians in Oregon Country. The mission board has news for them, though. All missionaries must be married, or they cannot serve.
While Priscilla had sworn to never marry and had her heart set on India, she accepted Eli's proposal so that she could fulfill her calling to serve. The proposal was not for that of a traditional marriage, though. It was a business arrangement; a marriage of convenience only, so they could both serve as missionaries.
Everyone has secrets in their past, but can these two strangers work past their secrets and insecurities and learn to be friends or even commit to their marriage vows, or will they always remain as business partners only?
While the book holds few surprises, the romance is very tastefully written, the conflict between the two very realistic. The best part is that it is loosely based on a true story, many of the details taken from the diaries of Narcissa Witman, who married Marcus Witman and helped pave the way for the Oregon Trail. Narcissa and one of her traveling missionary companions became the first white women to travel so far west, and the dangerous trip is chronicled in The Doctor's Lady.
I have a hard time finding time to read, but I couldn't put this book down. For anyone who enjoys historical Christian fiction, I can recommend this book.
**I received a complimentary copy of The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.