The Doctor's Lady

August 7, 2013

Title: The Doctor's Lady
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 378
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0833-1

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.

I have heard so many wonderful reviews for The Doctor's Lady, and it is safe to say, they were all correct. The story hooked me right from the beginning.  I breezed though this story in a few hours over the course of a day.

This is a story was based on events that did happen in the life of Narcissa Whitman, one of the first white women to cross overland to Oregon, on a path that would soon turn into the Oregon Trail. The events were taken from her journal.

The story revolves around Priscilla White, a woman called into the missionary filled, only to have her dreams crash around her when she is told, she must be married to continue on with her plans to go into missions. Priscilla has had her hopes set on going to India to teach at the mission school. Now, it seems she will not be able to do what she has always hoped to do.

Eli Earnest, a doctor, arrives to the town of Angelic, New York with two Indian boys, Richard and John. He left for the west a year previously and came back looking for assistance for his mission. He has hopes of setting up a missions among John and Richard's people and be of help to them with his medical skill. He is hoping that the people of this town, whose doctor has been helping him, would also be willing to offer aid. However, Eli faces the same challenge that Priscilla is now faced with, he can not serve unless he is married. Eli however does not want to be married, he has seen how the harshness of the work that awaits can weaken and even kill a woman, and he doesn't want to face that personally.

It seems that even with both of them vehement about never marrying, they are pushing from every direction from family and friends. So, they come to an agreement, they will marry for the work and that is it. The story follows Eli and Priscilla through their travels from one end of the country to the other with their companions, a minister and his wife called into missions. They face harsh weather, judgmental traders, illness, and the personal struggles that they have brought with them.

Jody Hedlund has written a beautiful story. It just grabs a hold of you and won't let you go. She has also brought recognition to a couple of women who faced something not many people had done before them and proved that it could be done. Priscilla and Eli were two great characters as were the rest of the cast of players. Each were written with depth and they jumped right off of the page.

Too Read!
5 out of 5


  1. YES! Nice review! This one is a keeper. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. It is a keeper! I'm looking forward to reading more by Jody Hedlund. :-)


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