4 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles is a fictional story revolving primarily around three main characters: Dr. Clayton Otherson, Clayton's wife, Catherine Otherson, and Dr. Mike Boudreaux. The two surgeons' are close friends. Clayton was formerly Mike's mentor and teacher; now, as chief of surgery, Mike is Clayton's boss.
Mike Boudreaux had been receiving reports that Clayton, a renowned bariatric (obesity) surgeon, had been making significant errors in surgery. The OR staff wanted him fired. During one of the operations, Mike gets called to the OR. Clayton had cut a major artery of a patient and was struggling to stop the bleeding. He was doing the surgery laparoscopically but had never received training. Mike finished the operation. He knew he had to discipline Clayton but didn't want to ruin his career. Clayton was put on supervised surgery, which caused a breach in their friendship. He broke supervised surgery rules and operated on a young girl who was borderline obese. A few weeks later, she developed postoperative complications and died. Mike was forced to suspend Clayton, and his anger toward Mike escalated. Clayton's wife Catherine began to confide in Mike that Clayton's suspension and anger were destroying their marriage. Mike attempted to talk to Clayton, but he would not listen to reason, and their friendship fell apart. Catherine kept turning to Mike repeatedly, and their relationship changed, adding fuel to Clayton's fire.
The author did an outstanding job of creating the characters and their personalities. The storyline was realistic and gave an accurate view of pressures in the medical profession. As a retired nurse, I can relate to the day-to-day stress of working in the medical field; and how adding personal drama to an already stressful job can create explosive situations. I was impressed with Cole's writing style. The narrative was easy to read, and the storyline was compelling and relatable with a surprise ending.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book. What I liked most was how Coles identified the moral and ethical issues we face today in the medical field. The focus seems to be more on money than on the safety and well-being of the patient, as illustrated by Clayton performing unnecessary surgeries. Other societal issues touched on in the book were domestic violence and drug abuse. I didn't find anything I disliked about the book.
There were some typographical errors in the form of misspelled words, but the book was otherwise well-edited. Perhaps correcting the typos would be beneficial since there were several of them. There are some formatting issues, such as no page breaks between chapters in the MOBI version I read. Since the formatting may not be an issue in a paperback or hardcover version, I don't feel justified deducting anything from my rating because of it. Therefore, due to the intriguing storyline and sound editing, I give The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles 4 out of 4 stars.
I would recommend this book to the adult reader who loves a good novel with drama and controversy mixed with a bit of romance. There are no erotic scenes in the book. There are a couple of violent scenes, with details and profanity which may be offensive to some readers, as well as inappropriate for teenagers.
The Surgeon's Wife
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