3 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon's Wife is a fictional story by William H. Coles, set in the vibrant city of New Orleans. Clayton, a world-renowned surgeon who works in the local hospital, is becoming older and is starting to lose his grip on his career. He has a reputation for having emotional outbursts in the workplace and a somewhat temperamental disposition. When Clayton makes a mistake that almost costs a patient her life, the decision for appropriate consequences turns to Mike, the Chief of Surgery. This decision is difficult for Mike because Clayton was his mentor and taught him everything he knows. Mike must decide if Clayton is sufficiently competent to stay in the operating room, or if he is putting patients in danger. As well as the decisions concerning Clayton's career, Mike also begins to have a secret love affair with Clayton's wife. Will they be able to keep their relationship a secret, or will Clayton find out and unleash his irrational temper?
The story starts as engaging and stays engaging right until the end. The author's writing style is clear and easy to read, with witty dialogue and situations. No sections were monotonous or tedious to read. I also enjoyed the imagery and descriptions of New Orleans that the author included. Each chapter had illustrations, and each "Part" of the book had a full cover page depicting a place or the characters. This visual element was a nice addition to the reading experience.
All characters were well developed and introduced early on. Coles developed his protagonist and antagonist very well, giving readers the ability to make up their minds whether they liked Mike or Clayton. I empathized and felt for Mike's character with his challenging situations. However, I also felt empathy for Clayton at times, even though he is the antagonist. It shows that Coles is talented with his characters, allowing the reader to feel empathic even towards the "villain" of the story. It shows great character development.
Although this is a charming book and I enjoyed reading it, unfortunately, it has far too many editing errors. I found more than ten flaws in the first fifty pages. It would benefit from another round of proofreading, as it is quite distracting for the reader and detracts from an otherwise great story. The book also has mild profanity and includes sections of physical abuse, so if you are a younger or sensitive reader, this may not be for you.
Overall, this is a great, enthralling read. I think a wide range of readers would enjoy this, especially those who are interested in New Orleans and its culture. I am giving The Surgeon's Wife 3 out of 4 stars. I would have given it 4, but due to the editing, I feel that I must adjust my rating. Hopefully, with another round of proofreading, the errors can be corrected, and it will be a flawless book!
The Surgeon's Wife
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