They vowed to keep their marriage in name only.
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.
View the trailer here!
Bio: Jody has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).
Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.
Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released in September of 2011. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!
Priscilla White knew that God had called her to be a missionary, which she thought to be India, as a single woman. However, the missionary board changed their stipulations and ruled that only married couples could serve as missionaries.
Dr. Elijah (Eli) Ernest’s goal was to return to the Oregon Territory to minister to the Nez Perce natives. Since he, too, was single, he now had to marry in order to go back to the Territory. Meeting Priscilla in her church in Angelica, NY, as he petitioned for funds to send him back, they eventually agreed to a marriage of convenience, in name only.
The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund is the story of Eli and Priscilla’s journey by sleigh, boat, wagon and horseback to the Oregon Territory. Having read several books on such travels, I found Jody’s book to be an excellent account.
Her fine writing found me meshed with the joys, trials, and struggles the couple and their companions endured, including one an unexpected shock! Her book is one of the tenderest, yet tumultuous love stories I’ve read. It wasn’t a hurried romance, but one that flowed throughout the whole story. Don’t get me wrong, it was by no means boring. It was real and at times painful. The tensions of the relationship between Eli and Priscilla kept me wondering if she could handle the rigors of travel so far West. You will learn of their strengths and shortcomings, and their ultimate reliance on God. It wasn’t necessarily easy, but satisfying, knowing that God had a plan for their lives and He would bring them through it in His way and timing.
Judy’s detailed descriptions of the traveling modes, food and water shortages, illness, and unexpected circumstances on the West Oregon Trail in 1836 touched my heart. You could almost feel the heat, suffer from hunger pains, and taste the dust! And the monumental achievement Priscilla and her female companion friend accomplished is written down in history!
Judy intertwined the faith of the two couples throughout the story, showing how God was real and interested in their struggles, that He was interested in their complete surrender to His will. This rendition of their journey portrayed a modern song message, “Sometimes He calms the storm, other times He calms His child.”
I really enjoyed Judy’s book. It made me look at myself and wonder if I had the faith and stamina to reach my own specific goals. I’d even recommend it to young adults, as they could use it for a history assignment for school, while learning factual historical accounts.
This book was provided by Noelle Buss, Fiction Publicist, of Bethany House Publishers, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.