Grace Masso

Review from Readers’ Favorite
The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles is a literary fiction novel that presents a conflict between two strong characters and medical professionals. Clayton Otherson is a senior influential and respectable surgeon. Or he once was. But he is growing old and this leads to him making mistakes that can have devastating effects on patients. The sad thing is that he refuses to admit that he is losing the skill because of age. Mike Boudreaux is Clayton’s junior, the head of the operating room. Mike was also trained by Clayton, and now Mike must discipline him. But Clayton doesn’t admit to being impaired. He is resentful, expecting Mike to find a way to make complaints against him go away. Things get worse when Mike falls in love with Catherine, Clayton’s wife. The relationship between Mike and Catherine attracts Clayton’s jealousy and anger. Can Clayton reclaim his honor and get back his wife or will he lose everything to Mike Boudreaux? The consequences are dire.

William H. Coles is a good storyteller who writes characters that are real and believable. From the key characters — Clayton and Mike — to Catherine and her daughter, Mellissa, to the supporting cast of characters, the author ensures that he explores the humanity of the characters in a skillful manner. The situations into which the author puts the characters are realistic and this makes them relatable. While readers will feel pity for Clayton’s situation, his stubbornness makes them feel contempt for his attitude. The author writes in beautiful prose and I loved how the characters evolve through the story. The conflict between Clayton and Mike begins as something mild, but it complicates through each page, thanks to Clayton’s behavior and the attraction his wife eventually develops for Mike. The story is expertly plotted with twists that I never saw coming. The Surgeon’s Wife is a story with a sophisticated tragic hero; it is as entertaining as it is engaging.