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The Doctor's Lady

(Hearts of Faith)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,706 ratings  ·  340 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Bethany House Publishers
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Paula Shreckhise I just read Luther and Katherina. It was wonderful and well researched. You will not be disappointed ! It is a little gritty but the times were hard.
I just read Luther and Katherina. It was wonderful and well researched. You will not be disappointed ! It is a little gritty but the times were hard.
It really flows. (less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,706 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a rule, I'm not overly fond of wagon train stories, but I could not read this one fast enough! It's not often that I have an opportunity to practically fly through a book as good as this one, but in 24 hours time, I read this book every moment I could spare. Thankfully, my husband was very understanding as we went through an evening with me cooking no dinner, folding no laundry, and watching no tv. And yes...he survived. ;o)

Jody Hedlund has created a masterpiece in The Doctor's Lady. She had
The Doctor’s Lady is the last of Hedlund’s backlist that I had left to read. I was hoarding it a bit, but I’m glad I finally read it. It focuses on both the physical journey to Oregon Country but also the marriage journey of Eli and Priscilla White. Though a bit lighter than it could have been at times, the story incorporates some lovely truths. I wish that the main characters would have opened up to each other a bit sooner, as I got a little tired of the on again/ off again interactions. Both a ...more
Olivia Newport
If you love to be engrossed in a story deeply rooted in historical events, you'll like this book. Jody Hedlund researches thoroughly and weaves in details of historical events and conditions in a way that they are organic to her stories. This one recreates the experience of being the first woman to travel across the country, braving privation and danger to reach the Oregon territory--and or course find love along the way.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I love the history behind this novel. Based upon the author's note at the end of the novel, many of the details were taken from the pioneers that made the journey to Oregon so many years ago.

The storyline of Eli and Priscilla was o.k., but it was the journey itself that kept the pages turning.

I'm a huge fan of Jody Hedlund. The Doctor's Lady is not at the top of my list, but a good read.
Shannah Mauney
This was one of the most gripping, heartfelt stories I have read in a long time. Jody Hedlund brings the characters and the trials and tribulations they face along their journey to life. I felt like I was traveling with them. The story was well-written and beautifully captured Eli and Priscilla's story.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I received the opportunity to read this novel, I jumped at the chance! I had read so many wonderful things about Jody Hedlund's writing, that I knew I couldn't pass it up. Within just a few pages, I knew that all of the 5 star reviews were right -- The Doctor's Lady is a story not to be missed! And as the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover, well with this one you can. The cover is one of the most gorgeous I've seen, and the story inside the cover is just as captivating; on ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Inspired by missionaries, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and their difficult cross-country trip to serve the Nez Perce Indians in Oregon, this story had its ups and downs...literally. Across endless prairies, up rocky heights, down treacherous mountainsides, two missionary couples (names detailed below) faced many adventures, hardships and desertions along the way.

Maybe not my favorite book by this author’s, but still very good.

Time and location: 1836, Angelica New York to the west coast along th
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Review first posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

It’s not often I read a historical fiction that so enthralled me, I could not stop reading, but that's what I discovered in this book. The Doctor’s Lady has officially been dubbed my favorite historical of the year! Gripping me in a way that few books but suspense/thrillers do, I was pulled into the characters’ lives. Even after I finished the book, I was still so wrapped up in Priscilla and Eli’s world!

Both Priscilla White and Eli Ernest are me
Katherine Coble
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
It was well-done in parts, but after awhile all the pent-up longing and smoldering glances got a little bit old.

I know that conflict provides the heart of a novel, but so much of the conflict here amounted to bickering between the protagonists.

Still and all it was a compelling enough story to keep me reading through the preacheriness.

Two things cost this book a fourth star in my mind.

1. Why do all these women have to be so beeyooteeful? Is it not possible to have a heroine who is mildly pret
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-fiction
When the west of America continent was still unexplored except for certain business people, Eli Ernest had been there and now, he wants to go and build a missionary there. To do so, the missionary committees require him to be married. Ms Priscilla White on the other hand has a dream to do missionary works in India. She is also fall short to the committees' requirement. They both come up with a marriage of convenience to fulfill both of their dreams.

Marriage of convenient is one of my fav romance

Jeannette Garcia
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by Jody Hedlund. Such an incredible story of the rough journey of Narcissa and Marcus Whitman. What I love so much about Jody's stories is her creative portrayal of real people and their struggles. My heart was so sensitive for each person in this book the entire time that I read it... especially for Priscilla. Being barren and having to endure children and pregnant women would be something I wouldn't be able to handle. It broke my heart when the one thing she y ...more
A heartwarming story about frontier courage based upon the first woman to cross over the Continental Divide to become a missionary to the Nez Perce during the 1830's. Often dramatic but then there was a lot of drama in traversing virgin lands in the newly charted American west. The romantic portion of the story was very entertaining and sweet, a worthwhile read.
TITLE gets 0 stars -- such a lame title!!!

This book is based on real people and diary entries of one of the first two European-descent women to travel overland to the Oregon Territory in the 1830s, but of course, much of it is fictional and it has been turned into a romance novel. The women were missionaries--one married to a clergyman the other two an MD--and this is very much a Christian romance, so even though it is fairly accurate historically speaking, it is not going to be every romance re
Rachelle Cobb
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it

Though the beginning started out slowly, the tension gradually builds to an adventure-and-action-packed plot in The Doctor's Lady. I read this book in less than twenty-four hours, drawn in by the development of the characters and details of what the trip West was like for the first female to cross the Continental Divide.

I enjoyed how Priscilla and Eli interacted with one another. They learned to trust one another achingly slowly, which at times made me want to shout, "Just tell her what you're t
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was swept away. In the tide of a love discovered after a marriage. In an adventure filled with the thrills of the trail. Swept away in a novel filled with everything I love in really good fiction.

Jody Hedlund is a new name in today’s fiction, but one I firmly believe will not be leaving us any time soon. I certainly hope to never see that day! Hedlund crafts a story that stirred my heart and emotions with the expert wielding of her deft writing hand.

Priscilla and Eli are characters you jus
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I love that this book is loosely about real people. Most of the time with a marriage of convenience story, its a silly and unbelievable progression of how the marriage comes about. But Hedlund does a good job easing it in.
The pacing was right on, and although its not completely without a few clichés its more original than not. I like Eli. He has the best lines. And the heart of this story is definitely there.
It does get a bit annoying 3 quarters of the way thru. The traveling story line gets wo
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Emilee you were right; this is an exceptional book. Priscilla and Mabel and most certainly the tremendous Eli kept me reading long into the evening. There was never a dull or slow moment in this book. I embarked on a journey with these characters and I'm fortunate to have learned so much about love, faith and fortitude.
Jody Hedlund in a fairly new author but I must say she has got to be one of my favorite new authors I’ve been introduced to this year!! Her books are amazing and The Doctor’s Lady is no exception!! In fact, The Doctor’s Lady has just made my favorite Christian Historical book of 2011!!

Priscilla is a young lady who feels God is calling her to the mission field but is heart broken when the Board of Missions refuses to send her on a mission unless she is married. In steps Eli, Eli is young doctor w
Jill Kemerer
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the stunning cover and the engaging opening, all the way through to the emotional ending, I adored The Doctor's Lady.

Eli Ernest, will stop at nothing to return to Oregon and start a mission for the Nez Perce Indians, including getting married and doing the unthinkable--journeying out west with a woman. Priscilla White burns with fervor to teach the gospel in India and, for personal reasons, leave the nest of her hometown, but unless she's married, she can't do mission work. An unlikely marr
Erika Robuck
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The novel begins in 1836 in Angelica, New York, where Priscilla White, an unmarried woman with a wish to be a Christian missionary in India, waits to find out her assignment. Her life takes an unexpected turn, however, when Dr. Eli Ernest, a single man in need of a wife in order to accept the sponsorship of the Mission Board for his own mission into the West, makes her a business proposal. If she will agree to marry him, on paper alone, they will get the approval of the Board, and each will be a ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There is just something soooo romantic about marrying a complete stranger only to fall in love with him later-

Yeah...I guess when you type it out like that it doesn't sound very appealing. But in Christian fiction, the marriage of convenience story line is one of my favs and The Doctor's Lady rocks this plot device.

In order to pursue careers in missions, Eli and Priscilla need to find spouses. Since neither of them is interested in getting married, they decide to be disinterested together, thu
Grabbed this today at the library. There wasn't quite enough of it! It was interesting how she blended in facts with the journey of her fictional characters. I really enjoyed Priscilla and Eli, as well as Mabel. Hedlund is a good writer, and I definitely plan on reading more of hers.
Grace Bittle
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it but, the ending was not what I had in mind.
and I like my made-up ending better.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a well researched and compelling take on the story of the first white woman who crossed the Continental Divide, based on a true story- Hedlund adds dramatic flair and her own twists to what must of been a terrifying and harrowing journey. She also takes the cheese out of convenience marriage stories and riddles it with stolen glances, passionate thoughts and simple progression. Towards the end of the story there was so much tension and sexual attraction going on that I wanted to jump in ...more
Carissa (Regency Woman)
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Christian historic romance, particularly prairie fiction and wagon train fiction
For a much more complete review, please visit my blog, Bookshelves and Daydreams.

From the moment I started this book, I was pretty much hooked. But I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I think I had a niggling suspicion lurking somewhere that I knew this story. After all, Jody Hedlund is prone to using real people to inspire her fictional characters. My guess was right. The Doctor's Lady is inspired by the real life missionaries, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. I've visited the Whitman mission, h
Mary Sanchez
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Priscilla White has applied to serve the Lord and save the lost people in India where there are established missions. She also wants to leave the country so as to escape the questions people will ask her about why she can't marry or have children. She never considered being a missionary to the Indians in the west,like Dr. Eli Ernest, who is visiting the community to raise funds for the mission he wants to build in Oregon Territory to serve the Nez Perce Indians. Then the Mission board sends Pris ...more
This was a great escape for a stressful weekend. Had fun with these characters who were perfect for each other but couldn't see it. I love arranged marriage story's and this one didn't disappoint. This author does a great job of mixing the preaching in with the story and it doesn't feel heavy. Her books are adult Christian books that I have enjoyed reading.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was tickled to read this book was loosely based on the travels of the the Whitman's, a married missionary couple heading west in 1836. The route they took would later become the Oregon Trail. The historical portrayal was very interesting but the authors fictional spin was great!

My first Jody Hedlund book...but not the last.
Sherri Ferguson
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful Historical Fiction book by Jody Hedlund. I love anything about the pioneers heading west and being a former missionary, well, this book had me from the beginning. A great read.
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Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that

Other books in the series

Hearts of Faith (3 books)
  • The Preacher's Bride
  • Rebellious Heart

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