4 out of 4 stars
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Should gratitude and friendship hinder the efforts of Dr. Mike Boudreaux in meting out proper disciplinary measures to Dr. Clayton Otherson, who happens to be his friend, his former professor, and mentor during training? Mike is chief of surgery now in the New Orleans hospital and is Clayton’s boss.
Clayton is a nationally-known surgeon, outstanding in his field, even the top-earner of the hospital. The problem is, he has faltered one too many. And for some of Clayton’s colleagues in the OR, even with Clayton’s past glories, he can no longer be saved. His latest mistake was the last straw. Once a consensus was reached, Clayton will have to go. It all depended on Mike now, Mike being the chief of the service. But Mike looks up to Clayton as a father figure, Mike’s own father being a case of no-show even before Mike was born. And as for gratitude, Mike owed Clayton a lot. Clayton is wealthy and influential; he had guided Mike’s career professionally, as Mike was a Cajun, nameless and poor. All that Mike relied on was hard work; it paid well for him. Among the ER doctors, he is the youngest, the only bachelor, ergo the best catch for any woman desiring to become a surgeon’s wife. Of course, Mike has a girlfriend. And two other women – both wives of surgeons – expressed a liking to him without his knowing. Which of these two is the woman implied in this novel, The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles?
I must admit that halfway into the story, I could only second-guess, vaguely, the outcome. Being an accomplished raconteur that he is, William H. Coles presented quite a number of possible threads for a sub-plot, to challenge the mind, to mystify it into verifying the obscurity. For instance, there were many social encounters, too many surgeons, and too many wives. I was even led to suspect that this woman in the title was not of blood and flesh at all, but rather a hypothetical idea of a surgeon’s partner, customized specifically for the role.
William H. Coles is no stranger to the medical procedures, having been in the medical profession for no less than twenty-seven years. No wonder, his depiction of the action in the OR, or the ER, was as real an experience anyone could get without being a patient thereof. And I thought, he spoke through the character of Mike in this novel where bariatric surgery was concerned. Mike admonished Clayton to modify the indications, with the intent to regulate the accessibility of the procedure, to make it available only to those really in need of it. Doctors should have qualms about putting under the knife just any obese person who could afford the operation, and who is foolhardy enough to disregard the perils of weight-loss surgery just for the purpose of vanity. Surely, there were much safer treatments available – non-surgical ones. I thought that obese people didn’t get it, that an influential person carrying a lot of weight doesn’t mean obesity.
This novel is well-written and thoroughly edited, with smoothly flowing narrative and an engaging theme most likely suited for fiction fans, preferably, those above the age of consent because of the family issues. Further, some knowledge of medical procedures would be a plus factor for added enjoyment.
I could honestly say that there is nothing for me to dislike in this novel. With that said, my rating for the novel titled The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles will be the optimal 4 out of 4 stars.
The Surgeon's Wife
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