I received this book for free from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.
Full disclaimer, I did not read the first book in this series, which is about Julia’s sister but this did not affect my comprehension of this book. You could read this book as a standalone if you wanted to and still be able to enjoy it.
I always love historical fiction novels about women forging their own paths, so naturally I liked this.
I enjoyed the medical aspect of the book. At times it felt like I was watching a medical drama, which is a good thing!
Character-wise, I liked Julia overall, but at times I found that she could be a bit annoying with her brutally honest personality. I really loved Michael and how his character developed throughout the book. I found Julia and Michael to be a very well-matched couple. I also loved that the author went with a dual POV for these two characters. You got to know each of them really well. For the supporting characters, I loved David and Mr. Anderson.
I appreciated the discussion of women’s rights and hardships during this time period. At one point the female characters talk about coverture. Lisette brings up, “By the laws of England, you and everything you own will be his property with as he likes” (130). Later in that same scene another character, Mrs. Fawcett mentions, “Other women may decide to remain unmarried to pursue a career, and others will marry and prefer to focus on home and family. Can we truly fault any of these choices? What we must be advocating is simply for the right of women to be able to decide for themselves what is best for their lives” (131). Amen to that!
As a side note, there was a description of a library that I wanted to share. Every time I encounter a library description in a book I always end up sharing it in my review. The books states, “Bookcases two stories high held hundreds of leather-bound volumes. A sofa and leather chairs were comfortably arranged near an impressive stone fireplace. Tall windows looked onto the expansive garden. Julia immediately thought that if she were ever asked to describe her idea of heaven, it would look just like this” (281). I agree 100%.
Overall, this was a great historical fiction novel that focuses on a strong female making her mark on the world and finding love unexpectedly.