In the novel, “The Doctor’s Wife” by Myra Hargrave McIlvain, Amelia Anton is a nanny for a prosperous German entrepreneur and his wife and son. They embark on the long trip to Texas where German immigrants have been promised some land and the hope of building a new life. On the sea journey, the little boy is taken ill and passes away. His mother is also ill and after arriving in America succumbs to her fever. The father sells Amelia’s services to a hotel as a chambermaid. The doctor who attended her employer, Dr. Joseph Stein, is taken with Amelia and asks for her hand in marriage. She is to accompany him to Indian Point where the German immigrants are waiting for transport to New Braunfels, Texas and the promise of land and opportunity.
She is not prepared for life with Dr. Stein as he is not the husband she thought he would be. She lives a life of loneliness as her husband is not attentive. She becomes friends with others in the community and makes the best of the life she has.
This book disturbed me because of the way that Amelia was treated. She was not physically abused, but some things are far worse to endure. The interesting story of this book is the history of the way settlement of New Braunfels happened. Ms. McIlvain is a gifted historian in all things Texas.
I was selected to receive a complimentary print copy of this book from Ms. McIlvain.