4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Truth be told, not all books are well written. The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles fits nowhere in this category. As portrayed by the title itself, The Surgeon’s Wife is a novella that thoroughly explores the world of certain surgeons, not just as the professionals that they are, but also as individuals; as persons.
The book opens with Mike Boudreaux, chief surgeon and chairman of the operating room committee, having to take over a surgery that was going bad due to the errors that his senior partner and mentor, Clayton Otherson, seemed oblivious to. Errors that would have resulted in the patient’s death. Clayton Otherson is the surgeon in charge of bariatrics and specialises on the obese, to directly induce weight loss through surgery.
Although one of the best surgeons in the world, Clayton seemed to be making a number of fatal mistakes while carrying out surgery. He was using loose indications to operate on patients who weren’t even obese, refusing training to master the use of laparoscopy, falsely advertising with faked pre-ops and post-ops photos, stubbornly continuing to operate while giving little or no regard to the alarming mortality rate of patients undergoing the surgery. Is Clayton impaired or is he just having a bit of hard luck? What brings Catherine, Clayton’s wife into the picture? He mentored Mike and showed him the ropes while he was a student, so now as the present chief surgeon, how does Mike handle the situation without ruining his mentor’s reputation? Does he simply pretend not to notice these happenings? Should he be a friend? Or should he be a professional and take the necessary actions?
I was especially impressed by the amount of research that has obviously gone into writing this book. The wealth of knowledge and really technical information on the gastric bypass and the administrative organization of hospitals. I found it quite informative to know of various committees and the check and balance strategies set up to closely monitor surgeons for any excesses. I actually realised the many more things that take place in hospitals, other than the care they give to patients.
I really enjoyed the story development. Divided into three parts, the book is made up of beautifully varying characters and quite a number of themes. There is that of love, romance, child abuse, arranged marriages, broken homes, forgiveness, to name a few. Just when I thought I knew what the book was about, the author would introduce another theme. The story has an easy flow, spiced with unexpected turns and surprises that are guaranteed to keep the reader’s interest fully locked in.
There were, however, some punctuation and grammatical errors, although they weren’t glaring enough to actually distract me. The book was also a bit too melancholic and so sort of depressing.
Considering the story development, the simplicity of the author’s language (judging by how complex one expects a book with this plot to be), the compelling storytelling and how vividly the scenes came to life, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to lovers of slower paced books on public health, surgery, and the family. On the other hand, if you would like a fast-paced book on medicine, romance or family drama, then it is very unlikely this will suit you.
The Surgeon's Wife
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords
Like Ijeoma Kikelomo's review? Post a comment saying so!