Historical fiction, especially those based in America, is one my favorite genres. Not only do I (usually) get a fabulous story, I’m also able to learn about those who came before us. Regardless of whether the character is completely a figment of the author’s imagination or based off of a real person, you’re still able to catch a glimpse into the world that they lived in: the trials and hardships that they endured all for the sake of a better living (to which we are all the beneficiaries of). I’m pretty positive that if it were up ME to be one of the first to settle the West, we would have only made it as far as the Ohio River. What is most fascinating about “The Doctor’s Lady” is that the hero and heroine are based on real characters in America’s history, a fact that I didn’t realize until I turned over the last page of the book. Even though the vast majority of what I read was pure fiction, little factual details were still webbed through the story.
My heart broke for Priscilla throughout this book. I’m so thankful that we no longer live in a society that deems a woman unworthy and undesirable because of her inability to reproduce. While I envy the innocence and modesty that was lived day in and day out a century ago, I am thankful that some trains of thought have been shifted on to more compassionate tracks. Thankfully, through her hasty marriage, she comes to realize her true value and worth. At first, I didn’t particularly care for Eli. I thought him crass and kind of a jerk, but as the story continued, Eli softened up and became a wonderful “hero” of the book.
I loved this book so much that I ran to library and checked out Jody Hedlund’s other novel “The Preacher’s Bride” which is also based on a true couple and their marriage. Jody Hedlund is an author to watch!