4 out of 4 stars
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Set in New Orleans, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, A Surgeon's Wife by William H. Cole. formerly a medical practitioner and now an accomplished author who has won numerous awards in fiction writing through the years. A Surgeon's Wife is divided into three different parts; part one mainly focuses on family, work and friendship, part two is mainly about drug abuse, rehabilitation and poor parenting while part three focuses on love, liberation and a new beginning.
Catherine Otherson has the picture-perfect life, married to a surgeon and not just any surgeon but Clayton Otherson. Together they have a teenage daughter, Mellissa. The Otherson’ s has the best that money can buy, unfortunately, money can't buy love. Clayton is a proud man and for a good reason. He is amongst the top surgeons in New Orleans and is well respected in his field of specialization. To the outsiders this is a fairy tale family and they are greatly admired. Michael Boudreaux is one of Clayton's accomplishments, he is like a son to him, once his student and protégé and now the best surgeon in the region. Michael’s commitment to his profession earns him a lifetime promotion to chief of staff.
Pride comes before fall, is the proverb that best describes Dr Clayton's story. He becomes sloppy and almost causes the death of a patient during surgery. Michael for being an ambassador in his profession, intervenes and saves the day. Given their history Michael does everything in his power to make sure his teacher retains his job, his license and retains his credibility. Clayton being a very conceited man is left humiliated by this incident. He does not take kindly to Michael trying to offer personal advice and feels betrayed by his dearest friend. Clayton’s life starts falling apart. At home his wife is losing patience and has had enough of their sham marriage, and to make matters worse, his reckless approach and negative attitude towards his work and direct environment, results in him receiving a warning and he is put on probation. His obsession with Bariatric surgery causes division amongst his colleagues and eventually it leads to the fall of his career.
Personally, this book has taught me that nothing is ever what it seems and that there is more to life than a successful career and loads of money. The characters in the book are well defined and each and everyone plays a major role in developing this story. A Surgeon's wife is one of the most tragic stories I have ever read. In the beginning of the story, there was a lot of medical jargon and I got a bit lost but eventually I gained my composure, and the the rest of the story was intelligible. Michael’s success story was very inspiring, despite coming from a humble background and being raised by a single mother, he worked very hard by giving it his all. It shows that being committed and focused on your goals, eventually pays off, and where you come from doesn't necessarily determine where you are going. The issue of alcohol and substance abuse is also addressed, and the successful rehabilitation of Helen is quite motivating.
There are numerous lessons to be learnt from the characters in this story. Since Otherson financially supported the hospital, top management willingly turned a blind eye to his growing inefficiency which resulted in the loss of a life. It is heartbreaking knowing that this sequence of events is happening daily in our own societies. Wealthy individuals conveniently exchanging money to cover up their failures, and the less fortunate individual paying dearly, sometimes with their life. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because its relatable, emotional, inspiring and very well written. This book is ideal for anyone that appreciates fiction.
The Surgeon's Wife
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