4 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles is a novel that narrates the tragic love affair between Mike Boudreaux, the chair of the hospital OR committee and chief of surgery, and Catherine, Clayton Otherson’s wife. Clayton is an older surgeon, and Mike’s friend and mentor.
The book opens up with a detailed description of Clayton’s failure during surgery. Once a renowned surgeon, he is now losing his touch, and is becoming a danger to his patients. His pride doesn’t let him retire, and he is continuously insisting on operating, against the advice of his colleagues. The book documents his slow descent into madness. As the story progresses, he becomes sloppy, stops taking care of himself, shows aggressive behavior, and is beginning to doubt he is the real father of Mellissa, his daughter. Partially because of Clayton’s issues, partially because of her love for Mike, Catherine leaves her husband, and starts a relationship with Mike. Becoming a veritable modern Anna Karenina, she will soon realize that society has no place for a divorced socialite mother. Her struggles worsen as Clayton’s desire for revenge grows stronger.
I really enjoyed reading The Surgeon's Wife. I believe William H. Coles did an amazing job at creating realistic characters, and that he constructed a very interesting plotline, that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The way the protagonists evolved with the traumatic events they face left me speechless, and I believe the author captured veritable character development in each of his protagonists.
The debates regarding the indications of bariatric surgery for the obese, as well as the complications that follow such surgery, kept my medical mind interested throughout the book. As a medical graduate, I appreciated how much emphasis was put on the shortcomings of the medical system. From doctors' pride to the pursuit of money in the place of patient’s well-being, William H. Coles reveals the harsh realities that come with a medical career.
I did not appreciate the fact that Charlotte decides to leave her husband exactly when his life starts to crumble. Her actions made her seem selfish, and her greed for her husband’s money amplified this image. Mike’s constant efforts to talk to Clayton, and try to convince him to give money to his ex-wife, made me see him as missing dignity and common sense. The author punishes these lacks of personality severely, and sentences his characters to horrible destinies.
Asides from being perfectly edited, I enjoyed the illustrations inserted at the beginning of each of the three parts of the book. I rate The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles 4 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to anyone with a background in medicine, or to anyone that is simply attracted to impossible love stories, that go against all of society’s norms. Since it contains no major profanity, it is suitable for all ages.
The Surgeon's Wife
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