by Lynn Morris and Gilbert Morris
This is the first in a series of 10 books by this father-daughter duo. At first I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the premise of the books or not. We first meet Cheney Duvall, a young woman who is newly graduated from medical school in the 1860′s. Set in a time period where women simply were not doctors, I was prepared that much of these books would focus on the inequalities between men and women of that time. Fortunately, they didn’t. The subject matter did come up more than once, but it was always in context and taken in stride.
Doctor Duvall has two loving parents and a beau when we first meet her. She is newly independent with her degree, and we learn that she has struggled to find a job to use her newly acquired doctoring skills. But find one, she does, aboard a ship sailing from New York City to the new city of Seattle. She has contracted to be the attending physician to a large group of women, sailing West in hopes of finding better lives and husbands as well. Cheney sends to an old colleague for a nurse to join her, and is more than surprised when a young man by the name of Shiloh Irons appears at her doorstep, claiming to be her new nurse.
The journey does not disappoint and is filled with moments of peril, disease, and a journey through the jungle along the way. While this book and all the others in the series are Christian historical fiction, I didn’t find them to be excessively preachy, as some Christian fiction can be. Yes, there are moments where the message comes through loud an clear, but mostly it was just a wonderful story sharing a bit of what life could have been like during that time period. I have since gone on and red four more books in this series, and I can say that each and every one captivated me in a different way. And even better, while they are all interconnected, they each tell a new story, they’re not just re-hashed in a new way. I will definitely be tracking down the remaining books in the series because they are so beautifully written and completely captivating.