Even if this story were completely fiction, I would have still loved it. Finding out its based on actual people made it that much more awesome. That’s why I so thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, it brings to light amazing stories of the past.
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.
Just so you know, I’m gonna turn history geek right about…now!
Based on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman (yes, my first thought was Malfoy), who left the east coast to be missionaries to the Nez Perce tribe in 1836 among the Oregon territory. She was one of the first two white women to cross the continent overland, and she had the first child born of American parents in the Oregon Country. Although this wasn’t in the novel, her and her husband were killed by the Cayuse in what would become known as the Whitman Massacre after a measles epidemic in which they blamed them for the deaths. Don’t worry, that part was left out of the novel, because that would be depressing.
Hedlund not only brought this amazing story to life, once again she created characters you quickly attach to and a story that is incredibly fascinating, empowering and encouraging to follow where the Lord leads, no matter how crazy it might seem.
If the name Jody Hedlund is on it, I promise it’s going to be a great read.