Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman by Teresa Warfield

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman by Teresa Warfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Medicine is a man’s field. Women aren’t allowed to attend medical school. Proper Bostonian ladies marry and become dutiful wives and mothers, not doctors. Michaela Quinn has heard it all, but medicine is her lifelong passion, and a physician is what she strives to become in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman by author Teresa Warfield.

Yup. It’s a novel based on characters from one of the best historical dramas to ever grace a television screen, a superb family show from Saturday night network television in the 1990s.

Still, I didn’t step into this read expecting to relive my beloved onscreen drama through it. Television is television and books are books—very different mediums for storytelling. So I let this historical fiction novel be what it is: a historical fiction novel.

It’s the coming-of-age story of an imperfect, ambitious heroine who has much to learn and must fight numerous frustrations and rejections to walk in her purpose. The tale includes Michaela’s vital relationship with her physician father, her difficult relationship with her conventional mother, her first romantic love, and of course, her early work on the path to becoming a doctor.

Some of the medical scenes are pretty graphic, but hey. The medical field isn’t for the faint of heart.

Now, the writing style is rather trite and redundant in places, the storyline rushes at times (indeed, there are a lot of years to cover), and I’m not sure the tale really concludes so much as it just goes along and eventually stops, pretty much where the television show begins. But the novel is rich in historical background and detail, with new inventions of the time, the heated sociopolitical climate in America, the Civil War, and the shifting landscape of medicine.

In all, a worthwhile read for this fan of inspiring historical fiction.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Series

 

A Christmas of Hope by Danyelle Ferguson

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

A Christmas of Hope by Danyelle Ferguson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Three mothers enjoy a friendship sparked by their shared journey of raising their autistic little boys. Now as one of the mothers, Holly, is struggling through her first holiday season since her divorce, she’ll need all the encouragement she can get in A Christmas of Hope by author Danyelle Ferguson.

Gee. It’d be hard for me to describe the nuggets I liked most in this story without giving away all the good stuff. It’s a little pet peeve of mine when book blurbs and such basically spell out the moral of a short story because there isn’t a whole lot of material to pull the descriptions from.

But I’ll say that I appreciate the correlations the three mothers find in their situations to that of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Whether or not you’re a parent, the overall principles Holly and her friends share with each other are encouraging and universal principles for life.

Besides that, this quick read really put me in the mood for a warm mug of Christmassy cocoa or another such treat.

 

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Would that I could make as many treaties by marriage and never give up a portion of my throne! Yafush had been right all those months ago: a woman could not rule like a man.
No, we must be far more clever.

Ever since I read this novel’s prequel, with its apt and intriguing call to “Seek wisdom, and rise,” I looked forward to reading The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by author Tosca Lee.

Even with this story’s biblical link to one of the most famous kings of Israel, Solomon was not the major draw for me here. I chose this novel specifically for her, to read of the rise of the Queen of Sheba, otherwise known as Bilqis and Makeda. Different aspects of Bilqis’s account reminded me so much of Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, stunning films about Elizabeth I of England.

Indeed, a queen—an unmarried one, at that—must be exceedingly strong and clever to rule.

Besides the interesting weight of politics and some of Bilqis’s adversity as a woman that struck me, I much appreciated this story’s exploration of worship. I think the question of whether one’s faith observance is “nothing but the brokering of deals” in hopes of receiving blessings from God is a relevant question for many.

Now, albeit King Solomon wasn’t my focus, and he doesn’t enter this tale until halfway through or so, I knew the love story would be inevitable, of course. While this isn’t a type of romantic storyline I particularly enjoy, I do realize you can’t demand a relationship like that of this queen and king to match an accepted, modern, Western one. And though the additionally inevitable jealousy and bickering got a mild eye-roll from me, it’s good that this love story isn’t a simplistic fairy tale.

Lyrical prose, lavish depictions, and moving reflections on the heart, intellect, and spirit—a worthwhile read for fans of historical fiction.

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Note to my blog readers: not out of keeping with the subject matter, sex is a prominent theme throughout this novel, though the sexual content isn’t explicit.

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Here’s my review of Ismeni: Prelude to The Legend of Sheba.

 

When Paths Cross by C.L. Wells

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

When Paths Cross by C.L. Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Truth be told, she’d hopelessly isolated herself… In doing so, she wondered how many opportunities she’d missed out on.

Marti copes with memories of the past and her present widowhood by holding on to predictability and aloneness. But meeting a young mother and daughter in trouble brings the sameness of Marti’s life to a halt in When Paths Cross by author C.L. Wells.

I was looking for something short but meaningful when I picked up this novelette, and that’s what I got. It’s a good illustration of how what we need most in life sometimes is linked to the needs of others.

The story’s pacing is a bit awkward in a couple places, and it seems like one twist takes too big a leap without enough time or emotional development to keep it from feeling somewhat trite and too perfect by the end. But overall, the compassion and renewed life in this story make it worth the read.