Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: "The Doctor's Lady" by Jody Hedlund

When an author releases a new novel, they must be wrought with anxiety. If the previous books were well received, they hope the newest one will resonate with readers just as much. And readers are filled with this same anticipation and wonder. Will this new book be just as good as the others? Will it contain multifaceted characters, an intriguing setting, and a well thoughtout plot? Will it keep them interested from beginning to end?

I’m excited to announce that author Jody Hedlund doesn’t disappoint in any of these areas. Her second novel, “The Doctor’s Lady” is just as riveting and engaging as her first, “The Preacher’s Bride,” which won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. From the gorgeous front cover to the very last page,“The Doctor’s Lady” kept me entranced, inspired, and intrigued.

Twenty-six year old Priscilla White, believes she’ll never be a wife or mother. Thus, her greatest desire is to become a missionary to India. But when the missionary board makes an announcement that only married couples are allowed on the mission field, she is given two choices: give up her dream of missions, or marry Dr. Eli Ernest. She chooses the latter, setting the stage for this story of a marriage of convenience.

Throughout the story, Priscilla and Eli become as real to us as if we knew them personally. We continually sympathize with their longings and desires. Priscilla says of Eli:

Even from the furthest row of the classroom, (Eli’s) winter blue eyes caught hers with their intensity. For a long moment she couldn’t breathe. Nor could she look away. He was a flame, and she was the little girl who had been warned not to touch. Only she couldn’t remember why she ought to stay away, especially when every nerve in her body urged her to reach out.

“The Doctor’s Lady” is filled with historical details of the period, and about life on what would eventually become, the Oregon Trail. It gives an accurate depiction of the struggles early pioneers faced, plus beautiful descriptions of the places they traversed. Traveling west in the 1830’s was a true test of determination and courage. Many trials could, and did, ensue. Priscilla and Eli endured many such trials on their journey. We read:

Priscilla glanced at her lap and recoiled. Thousands of black dots were swarming over her skirt. They skittered into the folds of the linen and made haste for the bare flesh of her hands and wrists.
She jumped to her feet and screamed. Frantic, she brushed at the fleas. They clung to her and laid siege to her neck and ears……….She fought them off her skin, her screams growing shriller. This was it. She was going to die, devoured by fleas.

The romance in the story is also well developed. The tension is kept high to the very last page. Will the couple eventually realize their love? (You’ll have to read to find out!)

The dialogue between them, while filled with bantering, is still very sincere. The following scene, where Eli has just cut his hand, and Priscilla is the only one who will consent to stitch it up, was one of my favorites:

She hesitated and then perched on the edge (of the bed), taking care that she didn’t brush against him.
“You’ll have to scoot closer than that.”
She inched nearer.

“A little closer.”
Her body shifted a fraction, and her shoulder almost touched his.

“And just a little more.”
She gave an exasperated sigh. “I suppose you think it would help if I just sat in your lap.

”Well now that you mention it, that’s not such a bad idea. Hop on up.”

Throughout the novel, Eli and Priscilla are so wonderfully portrayed that, at times, you feel you are right beside them on the journey. The other characters in the novel are also well developed and add to the richness and depth of the story.

Congratulations Jody!!  
While I could go on and on about this wonderful novel, (like tell you the true story it was based upon) I don’t want to give away any secrets!!! Suffice it to say, Jody Hedlund is once again a master storyteller in “The Doctor’s Lady”.

Congratulations go to her on this second great achievement!

Look for "The Doctor's Lady" at your local Christian book store, on-line book stores, and It will become a much loved addition to your personal library!

Win This Book!
I’m giving one of you blessed readers the opportunity to win a copy of this exciting book so you can fully experience the story of the doctor and his lady, for yourself. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and email address, and I will draw one lucky winner. Deadline for the drawing is this Friday, August 19th. The book will be mailed out that day as well. So leave your comments so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to win a copy of this exceptional novel, by an equally exceptional author!

Join the blog for more exciting things coming up. The ACFW Conference is right around the corner. In a future post, I will cover conference topics and offer a giveaway for a Starbucks card to be used at the Hyatt’s Starbucks shop, or in your own hometown. So stay tuned!

Once again, happy writing!


Keli Gwyn said...

What a great review, Amanda! It's one of the most well written reviews I've read. I love how you used excerpts to illustrate points you made.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Jody's story. As her critique partner, I had the privilege of reading two of the early versions of the story and felt certain readers would love it.

Please don't enter me in the drawing. I have several copies en route for drawings of my own. =)

Jen said...

I can't wait to read it...loved the Preacher's Bride. jenerin47 @ yahoo . com

Michaela said...

Hi Amanda,

What a great review! I can't wait to read The Doctor's Lady. I was just looking over your "Books" page. What a great accomplishment to have written four full-length novels. I'll be sure to keep following your blog so that I can review one of your first published book.


michaela (at) michaelatashjian (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Great review! I was excited to read it before I read your review, but now I can hardly wait!

Anonymous said...

I've been following Jody's blog for a while now, but I still didn't read any of the books. After this promising review I most definitely will. Thank you.

karenk said...

a wonderful posting...i loved jody's debut novel...looking forward to reading her latest masterpiece :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

a wonderful posting...i loved jody's debut novel...looking forward to reading her latest masterpiece :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'd love to win. Jody is a dear, and I'm looking forward to her next book.

caroline starr AT yahoo DOT com

Patricia said...

I love the premise of this romance. I have a friend who grew up in India--the daughter of lifelong Methodist Missionary parents. I know she'll be as interested in reading this as I am.

Great review. Please enter me in the drawing, pgrau (dot) ggi (at) gmail (dot) com