From the back cover, "Abortion, local evangelism, marital disenchantment, and the rifts of social class: Brundage takes on the fault lines of our era with a deft hand. The Doctor's Wife is an accomplished, page-turning novel."
It took me two days to finish this novel...and two weeks later, I can't get the characters out of my head. This book will grip your heart and mind, and it will haunt you. Not for the faint of heart.
Fascinating book about so many different controversies: religion, abortion, adultery and it goes on. But handles all of this gracefully and a good book that kept me reading until the end. Would highly recommend.
This is one of those rare books that you get so sucked into that you don't want to put it down and when it's over you wish there was more.
The story is set in upstate New York where Ann (the Drs wife) finds that she is missing more than just her husband as he commits time not only to his practice but then joins forces with an old friend who runs an abortion clinic. As he is away more and more she turns to the artist, Simon Haas, for that thing she's lost at home - passion. While Michael (the doctor) barely notices is anything amiss. Simon's young wife, Lydia, is mad with rage over the slight that she feels. Even though she knows that Simon never really loved her and only saved her from what would have been a life in orphanages as she became his muse. She is imbalanced. Combine that with the work she has been doing with the local anti-abortion group and things really do blow up.
It was a good read. Before I started it, I didn't think I would like the book, but it captured my attention and I enjoyed it. It didn't end the way I thought it would. A nice, easy read. We read it for our book club and it gave us a basis for some good discussion.
Wow! What a great, entanlging phychological suspense. I COULD NOT put this book down! From the very beginning (which is actually an un-spoiling glimpse of the end) I was hooked. My obsession with watching this story unfold was almost as thick and haunting as the plot!! It was dark, dangerous and deplorable. There was not a paragraph I didn't hang onto for dear life.
I usually don't write reviews but I really loved this book! It had a great storyline and I found myself thinking about it throughout the day. I carried it around with me so every free second I got I could sneak in a couple more chapters.
In The Doctor's Wife the lives of four people intertwine which leads to a cataclysmic conclusion. Michael is an OB/GYN who has a very good practice, but when asked to help out a former friend with an abortion clinic, he chooses to help. He becomes a target of a Christian group that has been harassing the clinic. Annie, his lonely and neglected wife finds refuge in the arms of a once famous artist, Simon. Simon's wife Lydia suspects the affair.
First off, The Doctor's Wife is not exactly a romance, although the relationships between two couples is the focus of the book. I found myself very intrigued by the story. The words and phrases the author uses paints quite a picture, sets quite a setting. The mood of the overall story comes across as very gloomy and tragic. I like that the author starts at the ending first and then works back to the beginning. It is a technique that really catches the readers' interest.
For me, I found the story very well written. I thought that the author had a certain way with words and phrases which really drew me into the story. The characters were very well portrayed, enough so that even though there is clearly a bad guy there are also shades of grey with all of the characters. All the characters made mistakes but I felt they all were also redeemable. In my book group not all of us agreed on the likability of the characters. Some of us felt that certain actions were not redeemable. We all seemed to agree that the ending left certain questions unanswered and wondered if the author wrote another book or if another book was forth coming. As far as I know, none has been written.
The book is not one that I would have chosen to read if not for the book club. However, once I started the story I was completely immersed in the characters. I am enjoying the book club. It is good to get exposure to books I might not normally read.
This was a good book, with 4 characters...Michael, OB/GYN....his wife Anne (Professor & mother to their 2 children) who because her husband is consummed by his work is home very little has an love affair with Simon (fading alcholic artist who is now a college art professor), his mad wife Lydia whom he met as a young child and felt because of her being left alone and having serious mental problems, he had to take care of her no matter what... An extremist church against abortion which sets the scene for a very compelling thriller.
An already busy OB who begins to perform abortions in a friend's clinic; his neglected wife, a journalist teaching in a small college; her attractive artist colleague, an intense man in a strange, tortured marriage; and the secretive child-woman who was his muse and is now his wife. These four, living in a small town fishbowl complete with its own radical pro-life group, will find - as in a Greek tragedy - that their strengths as much as their weaknesses, lead to their downfall. Fairly graphic sex scenes, and no small measure of both psychological and physical violence.
It took me a good 50 pages to get into this book, but enjoyed the middle/end very much. Its fascinating how the four charachters become more and more entwined with each other. Good character development, current topics, made for a good read.
By Far... One of the best books i've ever read. Makes you want to race to the finish, but I had to make myself slow down to savor it!
Wonderful read, throughly engrossing. Can't wait till her next one!
THE DOCTOR'S WIFE was the September 2014 pick in my neighborhood book club.
This was definitely an interesting character study with a small Southern town feel, despite being set in upstate New York.
What happens when we don't pay enough attention to our spouses and how they are feeling? What happens when we take people for granted? What doors are we opening in their hearts for others to step right on through? The book also prompts us to think about how far we're willing to go for the causes we believe in and how much we're willing to risk in their name.
At times it felt overwrought and like the author just thew things in to make something happen, but the characters are well developed enough to survive it.
Annie and Michael. Simon and Lydia. Pastor Tim. Get ready for a dark and twisted ride that's engaging, despite a rather dated tone. B-
Wow...this book was packed with moral issues, and approached them in all such a way that gave BOTH sides of the issues the gravity they deserved. I read the book with a feeling of dread, knowing that this could NOT end well. The teaser at the beginning did a very good job of setting up questions that sparked my interest, and kept me reading...I had to know who that man was, who the woman was, and why she had done such things.
It's not an easy read...definitely not a light and airy "beach book" kind of read...but it is a worthwhile read, one that deserves to be savored a chapter at a time.
I liked this book, it was a good psychological thriller. I felt the characters were multi-layered and complex. Lots of controversial issues. If you liked The Abstinence Teacher, you would enjoy this as it deals with controversial subjects with good character development. It also reminded me a little bit of Little Children, with issues surrounding infidelity and emotional upheaval.
This is a well written book which becomes very believable as the story progresses. The author writes about love, terror, abortion and madness. Once into the book, this reader found she couldn't put the book down.
This is a unique, unforgettable book. It has interesting characters and subject matter I have not found in many (if any)other books. I enjoyed it a great deal because it is smart, well written, and the characters grab your attention and don't let go right up to the surprising end. This book basically involves the major life changes which happen to the characters after the doctor decides to help a friend by working part time in her abortion clinic. This decision creates new events no one could have predicted, and exacerbates already existing situations. Suspenseful, and a great read.
A gripping thriller that was hard to put down. I really enjoyed the story and my only criticism is that one of the reviews mentioned incest but there was none in the book. That review totally threw me off.
I thought that I would like this book but unfortunately I was disappointed and did not enjoy it. The story line was fine and the character development was good but it lacked an attention to detail that I find enjoyable in works of fiction.
The book was set in Albany, New York and I realize it was a work of fiction but there were several mistakes in the geography that I found to be a distraction. One of the major mistakes was the directions of the roads listed in relationship to the towns/cities mentioned. The city of Amsterdam is located along route 5 and the thruway(Intestate 90) not along the Northway(Interstate 87). Also streets in Albany were traveling in the wrong direction from real live or do not intersect each other as described. Buildings were mentioned that don't exist or if they do there was no resemblance to real life. The author described St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam but slammed the Catholic church involvement. I'm sure the Fathers and Sisters who work there everyday would like to here their jobs and hospital refereed to in such negative terms and remarks.
I get it this book was a social commentary on a woman's right to choose. Presenting the pro-life side of the argument in the destructive terms is just as irresponsible as trying to shove the abortionist side down the readers throat. There are extremists on both sides of the argument.
I just felt that if you were setting the story line in the capital city of the state those small details should have been paid attention to. If she wanted to set the story in a fictional town then she should have fictionalized the details. To use a real area and to get the details wrong was very distracting and I found it annoying.
I also felt that the author was extremly derogatory in her remarks about the people and places in this area. Her remarks left me with the impression that she might have visited this area once but does she actually live here? Her bio's all say she lives in NY but NY is a large state. Was it necessary for the author to run down this area? Upstate NY has numerous economic and social problems without someone adding their own negative remarks. If the author was trying to go for mood or affect than I think she fell shot of the mark. The observations she made were just petty and degrading.
I seriously doubt if I will read anything else this author writes.
I thought that this book was very well written. From the first page I was engaged and I couldn't put it down until the very end. Actually I read it in two days. The book deals with sensitive topics such as abortion and adultry but does so in a way that made me see both sides of the issue. This was one of my book club picks. I'm not sure that everyone will like the book as much as I did but I know that there will be plenty of discussion.
Such a gripping thriller for a great read! The characters are so real and the emotions are swinging high and even higher to keep me intrigued until the last page. I was surprised by the ending and yet the story seems so plausible, and deep. I won't give much away on the story, but since you start at when the Doctor is kidnapped and then flash back to the beginning, it is rather convoluted, yet makes since. I recommend this book as it is fast paced and interesting.
The cover refers to this as a psychological thriller. Oh yeah... Made the mistake of finishing this at 1am and then trying to go to bed. BAD idea! Not my usual genre, and I am spooked and paranoid. Highly recommend this book to those who like thrillers.
Wasn't sure I'd like this book due to the subject matter, but I found the author didn't "take sides" nor was she pedantic or preachy. Great writing, characterization, and above all, a fun thriller that kept you wanting to read late into the night.
This story was very different then I had thought it would be. Good story line about how abuse can drive some people to do very mean and stupid things to other people. Had a lot of people involved in the storyline. You felt like you were living right there with them at times.
Mixed emotions about this book. Altho I really enjoyed it I felt at times like I had missed something...it does have a good plot and tells the story of two couples whose lives are explicitly intertwined.
I just couldn't get into this book. Yes it was fast paced, full of controversial twists, but it jumped all over the timeline from the very beginning, and it was difficult to keep up with the constant back and forth, even before the characters were well established. It was also hard to relate to this couple, who keep professing their love for each other, and keep acting as if there's no love at all between them. I'm 3/4 of the way done with it, and have no desire to finish it, other than for the simple fact that I read this much, so I might as well finish it.
I am almost halfway through this book, and have some thoughts:
* I agree with the reviewer who said it starts slow. It does, but after section 1 it seems to pick up a little.
* The author seems to have some pretty extreme political & religious (or non-religious) views, and that is very evident in the fact that her characters are more or less one-dimensional caricatures.
* The writing is engaging enough that I will finish, though I have some pretty serious issues with the political & religious platforms the author advocates.
I'll see what I think at the end...
Ok, I'm finished with the book. I thought it was a compelling read, regardless of my personal disagreement with the political & religious slant. Nonetheless, I did conclude that the characters were mostly unlikeable...I really felt the author could have done a better job of fleshing out the characters. It seems a shame to have what could have been a really good book diminished because of one dimensional character development. Hopefully this author improves in that regard with any future books.
This is described as the author's first book. I look forward to the next one she writes. This addresses the social issue of abortion clinics. Involved are a doctor who works at the clinic, his wife who objects to his participation and a group of religious zelots who object to the clinic. It is touted as a "psycholigical thriller" and it is. Good read.
This starts SLOW. In fact I almost gave up on it, my motto...life is too short to read bad books! In any case I thought I am going to give it another 20 pages or so and well, I was hooked. As another reviewer wrote, I am not a fan of starting with the ending, but the book got much better as it began telling the back story. It is not a book to pick up if you have a huge TBR, but it is an interesting story if you have some free time or nothing else to read.
It's interesting how she started with "the end" and intricately plots it from there. I didnt much care for the characters in the book, though. Touchy subject matter--abortion, adultery, drugs, you name it. I liked it but not one of my favorites.
I loved this book! It was quite a page turner and it's her first novel too. It has everything....an affair, an anti abortion group, an abortion doctor but the characters are very strongly written and you quickly decide which are your favorites. I highly recommen this book and do hope she is at work on her next novel!
This book did not really impress me. The story is compelling enough to get you to finish the book, (took me two weeks but I did finish the book) but I had a great deal of trouble finding any sympathy whatsoever for the characters. I did not like the Doctor and his ego, I did not like the wife and her actions, the artist came off as a pompous jerk, and the artist's wife was a flaming nut job. I ended up feeling really bad for the clinic doctor, the kids and the dog. Everyone else got what they deserved.
Fast paced, page turner, I passed it on to other prolific readers (my sisters) who enjoyed getting lost in this easy read. Bit of a thriller, definitely captured my ever wandering attention. You may not be able to put it down.
This is a love triangle with a mystery twist. It also shows the problems facing doctors who perform abortions for whatever reasons. There love hate relationships, secret rendouvous and hidden agenders.
Interesting book. I enjoyed it, but it was hard to get into at first. Abortion, whether pro-choice or pro-life is not the point of the book, so don't let that deter you from reading it. It had a lot going on with all the characters and sometimes that was a little annoying because each character wasn't fully developed, in my opinion. Overall though, a good, entertaining read.
Interested in a thrilling read - a can't put it down read? Then you must get a copy of The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage. Here is your warning: it is extremely controversial, dealing with abortion, religious views, affairs. This book is fantastic, and has earned it's spot as the best book I have read in 2010!!!
When I first started to read this I had flashbacks of Stephen Kings "Misery:...thank goodness I didn't stop!!! This book was hard to put down. Well written with no prejudices, pro or con, on abortion ,infidelity and mental illness, just the story, well told about them.
I am probably the only person who did not like this book. I was so excited when I started reading it but that quickly changed. It was very predictable. There was no mystery what so ever. The characters were unlikable and the writing was not that great.
A very good story of what it could be like to be a doctors wife. Lots of subject matter, marital difficulities, abortion, differences in social class etc. A page turner, but did not like the vulgar language in regards to sexual accounts. Why do these authors find it necessary to cheapen the book with dirty words! Other than this the book has real substance & was hard to put down.
Upstate NY - A successful doctor, his wife who is a college professor, a "perfect" life until the doctor starts helping at a women's clinic where abortions are performed. Add more characters to the mix: a troubled woman and her Evangelical Christian friends, her famous, arrogant artist-husband, and you have the makings of a psychological thriller. This book started out a bit slow and predictable for me, but then it grabbed my attention and I had a hard time putting it down. Good read.
So this book had a lot going on in it. It is from 4 different people's perspectives and it was difficult at times to figure out who was talking. I just finished it and still trying to digest the ending. It seems to come to an abrupt end and didn't answer a lot my questions before i was done reading it. It was an easy read and an interesting story, nothing to write home about or I would recommend to other to read.
This is a great book, the author is very descriptive with the setting of Albany and the storyline keeps you interested. Being pro-choice about a woman's reproductive rights (the doctor is OB-GYN who decides to volunteer at a women's clinic and perform abortions when needed) is not a requirement, although an open mind is good. IMO, sympathy waivers that way after reading about the blunt injustice, trauma, abuse, and physical danger that doctors and patients of women's clinics in conservative America receive. If you read Jodi Picoult, Dani Shapiro, Pam Lewis and the like, give this author a try.
I, unfortunately, put this book down after the first half. As a policy, I always continue a book to the middle, regardless of whether I am enjoying it or not. I did not enjoy this book. I found it rather boring. I am guessing because of the format in which it was written. I also did not appreciate the political agenda of the book. I actually am pro choice, but I like my books to not include politics. I read to escape from those things :)
I Loved this book - as other members have written, I couldn't put it down!! The plot was riveting, although dark & depressing. The characters were well written and all quite flawed. There was quite a bit of stereotyping going on- the anti-abortion lunatics vs Annie, the liberal college professor & writer. However both sides were revealed to be hypocritical in their actions. I cant say that I found any of the characters likeable, but I was still intrigued to see how the author was going to have the plot play out. I am going to recommend this to my book club since I think we can have a lively discussion over the characters and the abortion issue.
I had such high expectations for this one. Every review I had read was glowing. But I just couldn't get into it. In the first few lines, we're told that the doctor's wife has committed a murder. The doctor's wife did it.....and she is one crazy woman. It starts with her telling us that she's killed her husband, and then splits off into a backstory I just didn't follow. I quit after 60 pages.....close the book on this one.
So begins The Doctor's Wife, a stunning debut novel about 4 people & the cataclysmic intersection of their lives. From the outside, the Knowles family has it all. Michael is a rising OB/GYN at a prominent private practice in Albany, NY; he also moonlights at a local womens health clinic, and they live in a rambling Federal farmhouse w/their 2 kids. But Annie has become tired of her husband's absences & her role as a wife/mother/teacher has worn thin. She begins a love affair with bad-boy celebrity painter Simon Haas, who is married to his muse & model. Lydia, upon whom he built his career. Simon reawakens Annie's passion - but events soon take a dark turn for the Knowles family.
The Knowles family has it all - at least that is the pervasive opinion of everyone who views the family from the outside. Michael and Annie Knowles have been happily married for a decade and have two beautiful children. They both have successful careers and live in a rambling Federal-style farmhouse in High Meadow, New York. While the couple may seem to be living in their own perfect little world, not everything is quite as perfect as it appears.
Michael Knowles is a rising star in the field of obstetrics and gynecology at a prominent private practice in Albany, New York. He also moonlights at a local women's health clinic as well. His wife, Annie teaches at a Catholic college for women just outside of town. Although she has only been teaching for just under a year, her courses are incredibly popular with her students.
Annie may understand her husband's stressful schedule, but she has also become extremely tired of his constant absences. It seems as if Michael is always on call for his patients, but has almost no time left for her or his children. Annie is certainly lonely; and it is beginning to feel like her role as faithful wife, loving mother, and dutiful teacher has worn thin. She needs something to make her feel alive again; something more than just making bagged lunches for her kids, making excuses for her husband, and making up syllabi for her classes.
Enter celebrity painter Simon Haas, whose bad-boy persona captures Annie's attention and interest. To Annie, Simon is everything that Michael is not: creative and passionate, and truly enticing to her soul. He is married to his model and muse, Lydia, a woman who Simon has essentially built his career around. However, Simon and Annie begin a torrid love affair with each other, and Annie discovers that she has so much more to offer someone than just being 'the doctor's wife'.
Her relationship with Simon reawakens Annie's passion - but events soon take a dark turn for the Knowles family. The family begins receiving a series of anonymous threats. The reasons behind this increasing intimidation are not entirely clear...
Michael has seemingly made many enemies of his own: primarily religious extremists who are opposed to his medical practice. Although, are the most violent threats actually meant for Annie? Because she has also made at least one definite enemy in town: someone who has a cellar full of their own dark secrets. Told from the alternating perspectives of four fascinating and extraordinarily complex characters: Michael, Annie, Simon, and Lydia - The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage is a stunning debut novel; a compelling and compulsively readable story that is steeped in psychological suspense, intricate plot twists and intriguing mystery.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; as this is Ms. Brundage's debut novel, I thought it was actually quite an intriguing plot. In my opinion, the story just proved to me that if a person has the desire to do something, they can justify having to resort to any course of action to achieve that desire. I would give this book a definite A!
This is a real thriller!! It hits on a lot of different issues, the characters are well defined and very human, and I ignored my family for the last 50 pages of the book. (and that is really hard for me to do!!). I loved this book- it is a great thriller, a great novel and a real pageturner.
I couldn't put this book down! The psychological suspense is unrelenting. On the outside the doctor, his wife and children have the perfect family but all is not right. The wife becomes restless because of the doctor's ambitious work schedule. She falls into an affair with a local painter who also teaches at her school. The affair has disastrous consequences and you will be on the edge of your seat!
i did not like this book at all boring and could not really get into at all started out slow and had to force myself to read this book and did not like it . could not even finish it sorry to say and for me being the voracious reader that I am that is saying something about the book .
Didn't care for this book. If I had known that it featured a pro-abortion stance with characters stalked by a supposed crazy evangelical character, I would have avoided it like the plague. Came off as a cheap retelling of "Fatal Attraction" with a anti-Christian bias. I don't recommend it.