4 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon’s Wife, a book by William H. Cole, holds within it a story that takes the reader through a journey of true emotion, suspense, loyalty, and most of all, the complexities of human nature.
Dr. Clayton Otherson, a very accomplished and prominent surgeon in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been losing touch with his work in bariatric surgery, freezing and becoming unresponsive during surgical procedures, which puts the life of his patients in danger. He additionally refuses to believe that he’s starting to lose touch and that he needs to take a break in order to prevent hurting more patients. Through this haze of denial, Clayton begins to build his caseload instead, advertising and promoting in order to gather more patients in need of his bariatric surgery.
His behaviour causes quite the dilemma for Dr. Michael Boudreaux, who is the Chief of Service as well as Clayton’s former student and apprentice. Michael tries to stay as loyal as he can to Dr. Otherson in respect for all that he’s done for him, trying his best to do what’s best for Clayton whilst not jeopardizing or endangering Clayton's career, but when a patient’s life is in danger due to a volatile surgeon, what’s more important? Profit or people? Friendship or justice? These questions plague Michael as he balances ethics and friendship. Michael then begins to fall in love with Catherine, Clayton’s wife who has become tired of her sad marriage and domestic life with the ruins Clayton has become, which further complicates Michael’s situation and decision-making. Will Michael make the difficult decision to discipline Clayton for his heinous actions? Or will his loyalty and friendship make him protect Clayton, even though he’s a danger to his patients? Will Catherine stay or walk away from Clayton? All becomes revealed through the progression of this brilliant novel.
The character development within this book is absolutely superb, as all characters are beautifully and realistically written. Readers begin to feel for these characters and understand the motives behind their actions as the story unfolds, which I think is absolutely wonderful. The pain, strength, and reality of these characters is absolutely felt by readers, in my opinion, and the way the author has written the characters gave life to them in a way, making them feel and sound very real. In addition, all of the characters and their individual stories fit together and are weaved into the bigger story, which was another thing I loved about this book. One of the characters that I thought was both beautifully written and relatable, was Catherine and Clayton’s daughter Mellissa, a rebellious girl who is thought to be a spoiled brat, but who in reality is a girl simply looking for happiness and love. Another character who I really loved reading about was Michael, as his kind and caring nature made him pleasant and interesting to read about.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the medical terminology or the medical aspects of the book, or that the medical aspect of it would be boring, but that wasn’t the case at all! The book was absolutely easy to follow and the medical terminology didn’t confuse or bore me in any way, it actually made me much more interested in medicine and what actually happens in a real life hospital situation from the lenses of doctors and surgeons. Certain aspects of the book actually reminded me a bit of a Grey’s Anatomy episode, which was lovely!
I also absolutely loved the discussion on the topic of ethics and profit and the difficulty of staying loyal to a friend who has done wrong, as I feel that this difficult situation arises in our own everyday lives, whether it be big or small in size. The friendships these characters had, as well as their depth and dynamic, was glorious to read about, and I absolutely loved reading about these well-written and well-developed characters! I felt as though the character development the author provided was one of the many strong suits of this book.
Something that I additionally loved about this book was the beautiful imagery found throughout it. The author’s descriptions of life, very real world problems, as well as descriptions of the scenery of New Orleans and the emotions and feelings of the characters, was absolutely wonderful to read about, and the author painted a beautiful picture in my head as I was reading this book, which made me love it even more. To me, a book is enhanced and bettered through its characters and through its imagery, and The Surgeon's Wife held all of these elements!
With all of this considered, I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I rate this book 4 stars because this book was amazingly well-written, filled with well-developed and interesting characters and extremely fascinating plot-lines. I absolutely could not put this book down as it was engaging, interesting, and wonderfully put together. I caught maybe 1 or 2 minor typos throughout the entire book, making me rate it as a well edited book. Overall, this book absolutely pulled me in and I loved reading it very much!
The Surgeon's Wife
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