Pearl, MD: The Way West – Marie Bartlett

(Reviewed by Jeyran Main)

The Way West, the second in the Pearl MD series, begins right where we were left off and is just as captivating.

Pearl is a physician in the nineteenth-century. This was when women were not welcome to have a profession. African Americans were also treated poorly. Healing them as patients was unacceptable and hiring them as assistants—as Pearl did— was frowned upon and bad for business. Angry people burned her medical center to the ground, and she had no choice but to stay at a hotel until she found out what to do. In this second book, the author provides a short backstory just to remind the reader of what’s happened so far in book one, and then she moves on to the story, full speed.

Even though Pearl consistently receives bad news, she is stronger than ever. As she is trying to figure out her own life, she is informed that her best friend is dying and she may be losing the baby too. Pearl has to leave Asheville and travel to the West to save her friend Victoria.

There is a slight problem, though. Pearl is now romantically inclined with Herschel, and although there are no wedding bells ringing, her departure may affect and terminate this newfound love between them.

She has to make a decision and fast. She decides to ask her assistant, Loomey, to travel with her, and she agrees to accompany her for at least half of the way. Pearl makes a stop to see her parents and does some questioning towards finding the person who set her medical office on fire. Loomey has to return home as her husband is injured in a fight and his life is in danger. Pearl continues the journey alone to the west.

When she arrives, things do not look good. Not only is her friend in bad shape but also she discovers new things that disgust her. This is where the story really grabs your attention. She is confronted, conned, tricked and worst of all she has to save her friend from herself as well as her surroundings. Caine, Pearl’s previous love interest is also there to make things even more uncomfortable and Walter, Victoria’s husband is acting very weird.

I was stuck to this book like glue and could not put it down. The literary standard of writing and the references to so many sensitive subjects will blow your mind. Human trafficking, sex trading, racial encounters, and women’s rights are just a few issues that the author touches on.

Pearl is so gracious and kind that you find it very hard not to fall in love with her. She has such a beautiful spirit to an extent where she does not care what others think regardless of how much it affects her social status. She even refuses to send Loomey to a different car just because she is of a different skin color. Pearl joins Loomey in her ride to prove a point to the others.

Please note, Pearl MD, The Way West is not a stand –alone novel. You will need to read Pearl MD, the first in the series. However, both are gems and from the beginning to the end, will they continue to surprise you.

I highly recommend  Pearl MD, The Way West to anyone that is looking to read something out of this world.

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