After making a mistake that could cost a mother and infant their lives, can a young, independent woman find redemption at a time when society doesn't trust female physicians? In 1883, Dr. Pearl Stern is haunted by guilt and self-doubt. Hoping for a fresh start in the small mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, she vows to keep her past a secret as she leaves her Missouri home. Though she finds support from the city's imposing Chief of Police, it's only a matter of time before the tragic incident she left behind resurfaces, threatening to destroy her new life. Bartlett's historical novel PEARL, MD explores the conflict women faced within the rigid roles set for them by nineteenth century society. The book's themes are tolerance, forgiveness and the ability to face some of life's toughest choices. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This was a fun historical read to me and I really wasn’t quite sure what I was going to think of it. I think Pearl is a great portrayal of the mixture of influences a female doctor would have at the turn of the century. Proud of her accomplishments, but still expecting men to act like gentlemen, Pearl was an intriguing character. In a time where women were just starting to do more outside the house, she was an example of the extreme. The Chief of the police was interesting counter-balance to Pearl and I’d be curious to see what happens next.
There were a few things that I was noted in the story. It seems like there was a lot of set up for a sequel (Victoria, Caine mentioned often, Tombstone), which will be nice when it comes out, but was slightly distracting in the book as a stand-alone. Additionally, I was quite surprised by the speed of the story’s resolution. There was a lot of build-up in the book as Pearl established herself in Asheville, but then everything was tied off quickly. These very small observations aside, this was a great book for historical fiction fans looking for something a little lighter.
Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of the author.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Wild west fans and historical fiction fans looking for a light read.
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The sequel “Pearl, MD: The Way West” coming soon!