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The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles

ANew Orleans aristocrat and doctor, Clayton Otherson, is an aging national leader in the field of trauma surgery who begins to injure patients with his unacceptable technical and judgmental mistakes. Otherson’s younger partner, Mike Boudreaux, whom he trained and mentored, must discipline him. Otherson resents constrains and criticisms and denies his impairment. Boudreaux complicates his management by falling in love with Otherson’s beautiful wife, Catherine. Otherson’s wrath threatens violence as Boudreaux and Catherine shape their love struggling for respect in the contempt of New Orleans’ society.




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Official review from OnlineBookClub.org

Human nature has always been fascinating to me. What makes people do the things that they do? This is the type of issue that William H. Coles explores in his book The Surgeon's Wife.

Clayton Otherson is a surgeon in New Orleans who mainly does bariatric surgery. He's been making a few mistakes lately, though, forcing Mike Boudreaux to act in his capacity as Chief of Service. Dr. Otherson is a very prominent surgeon who is a forerunner in obesity surgery; he also taught and mentored Dr. Boudreaux. That makes it hard for Mike to make any decisions that might jeopardize Dr. Otherson's career. Then there is Catherine, Clayton's wife. Catherine has always been a strong woman and very active in the community. Now, though, Clayton seems to be coming unglued, and Catherine is unhappy in her marriage. Will Mike make the hard decision that ends Clayton's career? How will Clayton react if the only thing he has ever known is taken away from him? Will Catherine stick it out in her marriage for better times? Or will she walk away?

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Review by KingK123

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
The author had an incredible flow to this work. Every event correlated to another so smoothly that you never had to guess why something was happening. Even with the introduction of new characters, one never gets lost in their purpose because of the consistency in the author’s writing. The descriptors through the entire novel were also excellent. It was very easy to picture what was happening, even in the surgical procedures. This makes it so those who are not in the medical field can enjoy this book without feeling insecure.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I like the flow of the book more than anything. I never got lost in the many characters and progressions in their lives.
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Review by B Creech

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
The author did an outstanding job of creating the characters and their personalities. The storyline was realistic and gave an accurate view of pressures in the medical profession. As a retired nurse, I can relate to the day-to-day stress of working in the medical field; and how adding personal drama to an already stressful job can create explosive situations. I was impressed with Cole’s writing style. The narrative was easy to read, and the storyline was compelling and relatable with a surprise ending.
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Review by GHOSTFRIEND

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
The story is really intriguing and the author has made really good use of every single page to present to us a power-packed short story. I liked how the characters were made to suit each other. As I have mentioned earlier that this book largely deals on human behaviour and we all know human behaviour is very much unpredictable. The author, however, seems to have a very good understanding of human behaviour because the ways his characters behave in several situations are believable and not at all questionable. We see how Mike is in a dilemma and tries to figure out what to do. Also, we see other members of the hospital are more worried about money than about patients life. These are all normal behaviour and the author has banked on them to delight the readers. The character development is definitely my favourite part of the book.
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Review by kadinkins14

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
I would give this novel a 4 out of 4 stars. I thought it was a great length; the story was thoroughly presented without too much verbiage. My favorite aspect of the novel was the relatable moral and ethical healthcare dilemmas that Dr. Boudreaux found himself facing. As a nurse, I have witnessed and debated these ethical issues firsthand and can relate to how he struggles to do what is ethically right for the patients. I also enjoyed the banter and dialogue between the surgeons in their meetings. Again, I have witnessed these interactions between healthcare specialties firsthand and I found the dialogue in the novel very humorous. For example, while debating the next steps for Dr. Otherson’s restrictions, the surgeons demean each other’s specialty, and the dentist seemed to take the brunt of the slurs. I also thought that the novel’s ending was quite a surprise. Guessing what was going to happen next kept me turning the pages until I completed the whole novel in one sitting. The added drama with Catherine and Dr. Boudreax’s affair accessorized what could have been a very dull story of two colleagues disagreeing about the best way to practice medicine. I really like that this novel was written by a surgeon; it offers a unique insight into his perspectives on healthcare and helped give an accurate description of surgical procedures.
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Review by Janalyn101

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes family drama, medical dramas, or romance novels, as it has all of those included in the book. I wouldn’t recommend it to those who are sensitive to gun violence, adultery, and/or physical abuse. Furthermore, there isn’t much vulgar language or at least not any that I can remember, and that is something that gets my attention. This book was perfectly edited and had no grammatical errors. With the exception of Mike not being as strong as I would have liked him to be, I thought this book was worthy of 4 out of 4 stars. I thought William H Cole did a wonderful job and can’t wait to read more of his books.
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Review by SMPlaya

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
What I most enjoyed about the book was the investigation into the questionable practices that exist within the privatized medical system. Otherson’s professional problems stem from his promotion of a surgery targeted toward the obese that has specific indications for patient candidates and limited positive results. As Otherson begins to ignore the indications, and as more patients begin to experience complications rather than an enhanced life, his practices are called into question by his peers. I was fascinated by the exploration of the culture and hierarchy within the medical board and doctor groups who operate with the goal of upholding patient well-being, while at the same time either protecting or destroying careers. I also thought the downward psychological spiral of Otherson was fascinating and believable, tracking his behavior and emotional state leading to and through the crumbling of his career and marriage.
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Review by Lesley Jones

In The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles, when a renowned professor and surgeon, Clayton Otherson, begins to make critical mistakes in his work with obese patients, he is threatened with misconduct. Chair of the New Orleans hospital committee and fellow surgeon Mike Boudreaux faces a tough moral decision. Does he protect the patient’s safety and take action against his mentor or procrastinate and hope Clayton’s incompetence improves with further training. When Clayton rejects any advice and help, a further operation places a young girl’s life in danger, and her father seeks revenge. Mike now realizes that he has an obligation not only to his patients but to his moral values to ensure Clayton ceases practising. This causes serious complications to their friendship and exposes the rift within Clayton’s marriage to his much younger wife, Catherine. Catherine feels increasingly isolated and turns to Mike for emotional support, leading to an affair that neither of them planned. When Clayton discovers the betrayal, his sense of right and wrong is forgotten; now he wants retribution from everyone who, in his mind, has ruined his life.

I loved the interesting plot and beautifully created characters. Even the minor characters such as Helen were relatable. The story moved forward at a great pace and I thought the conflict between Clayton and Catherine especially riveting. There were many sub-plots which I easily followed and they all played an important role in the moral of this novel. I thought the relationship between Catherine and her mother was especially poignant. Each of the main characters seemed to be facing a moral decision and the development of the consequences of those decisions was played out perfectly, causing great tension. The whole story is a brilliant example of the complexities of human nature and the family dynamic when love, hate, and rejection come into play. The ending is a real cliffhanger and totally unexpected.


Reviewed By Ann Neville for Readers’ Favorite

The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles follows Clayton Otherson, a senior surgeon, as he makes life-threatening mistakes during Bariatric surgery in a New Orleans’ hospital. Mike Boudreaux, the chief of surgery, must discipline Otherson, his partner, colleague, mentor and friend. Even though Mike knows he must take action, he feels conflicted because he owes his education and his career success to Otherson. But when a patient dies from post-operative complications, there is no option but suspension. Otherson turns angry and vindictive, especially when his wife, Catherine, turns to Mike for help and support. Otherson is consumed with revenge and threatens violence. The consequences of the psychological and emotional effects on Catherine and Otherson’s marriage, on their daughter, Mellissa, and on Mike are dramatic and disastrous.

I found The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles an interesting and fascinating read on several levels. Coles skilfully articulates the moral dilemma faced by doctors regarding Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass surgery) and its consequences for patients. The issue of financial gain over patient safety is also well presented, along with the conflict between personal values and corporate economic survival. The psychological and emotional journeys of all the main characters, Otherson, his wife and daughter, and Mike, are intriguing and compelling, while the dramatic ending is completely shocking and, in one aspect, unexpected. Fortunately, the denouement offers an inkling of hope for the future. If a reader is looking for drama in a surgical setting, I recommend this well-written book, The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles.


Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

On a personal note, The Surgeon’s Wife is the third book I am reading from William H. Coles within a week, and after I complete each book, I feel like reading more from him. His stories are told in a voice that is confident, clear, and authoritative, and he knows how to explore the deep layers of human emotion. The Surgeon’s Wife, with Coles’ unique signature, features themes of romance, passion, and betrayal and features characters with a solid medical background.

Clayton Otherson is a senior surgeon who has earned the respect of the industry over the years, a man distinguished by his skills. But he makes a life-threatening error in surgery, one that damages the reputation of one of the best hospitals in New Orleans. Now, Mike Boudreaux, the man mentored by Otherson and also his friend, must discipline him. While Mike wants to reduce sanctions and make things easier for Otherson, the committee imposes restrictions. Otherson doesn’t take it well and nurtures thoughts of vengeance. But the experience affects him very negatively to the point that his marriage starts suffering. Catherine, his wife, turns to his best friend and what follows is a romantic relationship between Mike and Catherine. Can Otherson handle it and for how long can they keep the relationship secret?

I loved the conflict and how a major disagreement between two close friends eventually leads to the greatest betrayal. This novel explores how stress and the poor manner of handling a crisis can escalate to very serious and more complex issues. When readers get to know Otherson, they won’t immediately like him. He is a man who doesn’t want to admit his errors or to face a problem. But as the narrative moves forward, they begin to gain sympathy for him and wonder why he must go through the pain he is experiencing. The conflict reaches a point of climax when his wife finally chooses his friend, the very person he had hoped can help in his situation. The narrative is skillfully done and the author explores the consequences of illicit relationships, the dangers of quick and emotional decisions, with Catherine losing respect from her peers and family. William H. Coles keeps one reading until the very last page.


Reviewed By Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Readers’ Favorite

A refreshing read, The Surgeon’s Wife takes readers on a fictional journey that will keep them intrigued from the beginning. William H. Coles’ dramatic tale is based around the lives of two prominent surgeons and one woman. The issues that arise in The Surgeon’s Wife start off with one of the main characters, Clayton Otherson, making a major mistake during surgery. His former student and the current chair of the OR committee, Mike Boudreaux, tries to protect his mentor, but ethically and professionally he knows he must protect the patients. Eventually, a love triangle comes into play and Mike and Catherine Otherson, Clayton’s wife, become lovers. With numerous challenges facing both the Othersons and Mike, The Surgeon’s Wife will keep readers on tenterhooks from start to finish.

For the most part, William H. Coles’ story progresses at a cadence that feels smooth and interesting. The romantic relationship between Mike and Catherine jumps ahead pretty quickly – but not until nearly halfway through the book – and with little anticipation of it earlier in the plot. But, overall, The Surgeon’s Wife is so intriguing that this minor issue remains just that – a minor issue. Coles makes the story more realistic by allowing some patients to actually die even after having given readers a chance to like them. He also displays examples of doctors trying to stick together and protect one of their own, even at the risk of patients’ lives. Sexism is still yet another aspect fluidly blended into The Surgeon’s Wife, from how doctors’ wives are often treated to how female surgeons are treated. William H. Coles’ The Surgeon’s Wife is filled with an in-depth plot, powerful characters, and a lot of fascinating different topics that could be proposed for discussion via a book club or with friends. The Surgeon’s Wife is a great read and one I recommend.