My Darling Druid by Jean Hart Stewart is set in 1919 London. It follows a young aristocratic woman, Vivie, on her journey to becoming a nurse. She also happens to be a Druid (of Celtic descent possessing nature based magical abilities). Vivie plans to open a clinic that combines Druid medicine and modern medicine.
While working for her nursing certificate Vivie butts heads with the head of the pediatric wing of the London hospital and can’t help but notice that he is an attractive man. Alec has grandiose ideas, however. He tells Vivie about his plans to meet and marry a rich woman who can elevate him socially, as well as bankroll a clinic for him. His openness causes Vivie to withhold information about her social status until she can no longer hide it.
When Vivie’s elevated status comes to light, Alec reacts in anger and shuts Vivie out of his life. Vivie counters by opening her dream clinic with a fellow Druid, who happens to be a doctor, and throws herself into her work. Her co-worker falls in love with her but a deadly disease threatens Vivie.
My Darling Druid is clearly well written and researched but I found the pace slow for my taste. While the information about post WWI London and medicine was interesting and aided in my understanding of Vivie's need to help others, it did little to push the story forward. Despite the focused details of the time period, the story meandered through misunderstandings and tragedy. I felt like I was riding a bike on a straight road instead of a hill. The action didn't seem to hit a critical high before coasting to a finish.
In addition to a slow storyline I found that I disliked Alec. He was rude and grasping and seemed to be an ill fit for the charismatic Vivie. Alec was cold and quick to condemn Vivie when he realized that she was higher in society than he thought. On the other hand, the underdog was caring and understanding. He didn't push himself on her nor did he turn his back on her causing me to root for the underdog.
The story revolved around a possible love triangle that really never made it past the starting line. It was pretty obvious who Vivie was going to connect with and that kept the triangle from connecting for me.
The paranormal aspect of the story is tame with Vivie allowed to travel within the space of her mind and take patients with her. She can converse with her family in her mind, feel emotions, read minds, and a few other things all thanks to her being a Druid. The paranormal plays a role in the book but I did not believe the transformation of the unbeliever into believer. It was quick and seemingly unwarranted.