WITH AUTUMN’S RETURN by Amanda Cabot

One of my favorite things about historical novels is that although they are fiction they are entertaining ways to view life in the past. The growing territories of the 1800’s were sometimes challenging places to live and only for the strong of heart, especially for women. Elizabeth Harding had already braved her way through medical school to become a doctor; definitely not an acceptable career choice for women of that time.
She shows even more grit and courage by choosing to join her older sisters and their families in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1887 and set up her first medical practice. Having already weathered the opposition and jeers of her fellow male students, she is undaunted at the task before her and full of hope and expectation. Next to her new clinic is a young lawyer named Jason Nordling, also trying to establish his business. At first they get off on the wrong foot due to his prejudice against female doctors. This doesn’t deter Elizabeth’s goals at all. Time and circumstances soften their feeling toward each other and a friendship is forged that quickly turns into romance, surprising them both. Suspense, murder and many surprises enter into the sweet love story.
Living in the 21st century we forget how restrictive and sometimes hard the lives of women were, little alone one that was choosing to blaze a new path. There were many life lessons to be learned from the characters. Elizabeth’s courage not only to follow her dream but also to do what is right despite the opinions of others was inspiring. She chooses to treat a madam of a bordello and her women without caring what others would say. Although she did not agree with their occupation, she did care about them as people. She was not afraid to stand for what was right or for those who were being wronged.
In her I also saw how easy it is to jump to conclusions about people and their motives before knowing the full truth of the matter. I have to give her credit that she recognized her weakness in this area.
Elizabeth and Jason had what they believed to be concrete plans about their future, who they would marry and if they would marry. Their relationship was a reminder that we should never say “never” and need to leave the door open for God’s plans.
Gwen, her friend and lady she roomed had a problem that still goes on today but in a greater way; body image and self-worth. I appreciated the way the author proved that this is not the key to being loved and admired by another.
I have not read the other two books of this series and I feel this could be a stand-alone read. The story was well written and a real page turner. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Cabot’s books.
I received this book free from Baker Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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