This book wasn’t what I expected. I knew it was about a marriage of convenience between two people who wanted to establish a mission among native Americans in the early 1800’s, but I thought it would tell about them establishing the mission. Instead, it’s the story of their journey from New York to Oregon, first by ship, then by wagon, to establish the mission. It’s the story of how they learn to care for one another through all the hardship they endure along the way. It’s also the story of how they learn to overcome their own ideas and recognize their own weaknesses, so they can more fully rely on and submit to God.
I liked this book.
After the conclusion, Jody Hedlund explains that the book is based, pretty extensively, on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman—and their travelling companions. Narcissa and one of those companions, Eliza Spalding, were the first white women to cross the Continental Divide and travel to the West. They did this in 1836. Hedlund used Narcissa’s journals as the primary source for this book, The Doctor’s Lady.
If you enjoy historical fiction (in this case, mostly truth) with subtle, but powerful, messages about trusting in God and building a strong marriage, I recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.