The Baby Doctor by Fiona McArthur
Penguin Random House AU, October
Review copy provided by publisher
Well this book was a pleasant surprise. I’ve read a lot of rural romance in the past few years and i am happy to have found a fresh spin on the genre.
Sienna Wilson is a highly successful and experienced obstetrician in a Sydney hospital. Her life revolves around her work which requires long-hours, making quick calculated decisions and thriving under pressure. So, when she’s pulled away from the hustle and bustle to investigate a medical mystery in the outback, it’s a culture-shock- to say the least.
Sienna is a very well-developed character and the author has found a nice balance between the controlled and sophisticated traits of the protagonist and the softer, nurturing side. It makes her very likeable. Douglas is also a likeable character and is a striking contrast to Sienna. He has a slow-paced, quiet manner but he’s dependable and strong too. The conflict between them is set up from the very beginning. Sienna would not survive in the outback and Douglas would not survive in the city. Despite the attraction and their growing connection, they cannot see a long-term future. I like that in the end they were able to find a happy medium and neither had to sacrifice who they were to make the relationship viable.
From the medical mystery to the exploration of a patient in an abusive relationship, to the challenges posed in a small-town community, this story has so many elements to keep a reader engaged. The author’s background in midwifery brings an authenticity to Sienna’s occupation and the way in which she views the world. I really enjoyed this aspect.
I admit to attempting one of McArthur’s earlier books a couple of years ago. It didn’t hook me initially and I set it aside. Oops! Now that I’ve read The Baby Doctor, I’ll have to go back and give it another go!