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The Doctor's Wife

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  7,753 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews

“The memory starts here, in my apron pocket, with the gun.”

So begins The Doctor’s Wife, a stunning debut novel about four people and the cataclysmic intersection of their lives. Michael is a rising OB/GYN at a prominent private practice in Albany, New York; he also moonlights at a local women’s health clinic. But Annie, his wife, has become tired of her workaholic

Paperback, 342 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Plume Books (first published 2004)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  7,753 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews

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Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I actually find it funny that some people hated this book because they found the pro-life/anti-choice characters to be "too extreme" and took offense on the basis that "not all those who stand on the right of this issue are psychotic maniacs." Well, duh. Of course they aren't.

But this book isn't about the ones who aren't. And why not? Because run-of-the-mill ordinary pro-lifers don't make for very interesting fiction. (Neither, for that matter, do run-of-the-mill ordinary pro-choicers). They
Jan 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
I know that this is just my opinion, and others are free to disagree, but I found this book nothing but trash. I found it to be very pro-choice and liberal, with Republicans potrayed as rude, ridiculous, religious bigots, and pro-life people potrayed as crazy and violent. The entire book is simply distateful; while the writing is well done, it is clear this author has an agenda (pro-choice), and the plot itself serves only to reiterate this purpose. To quote another reviewer, tough customer, ...more
Apr 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Early on I found myself not caring about what happened to the characters. They weren't just deeply flawed, they were unlikable, every single one. I kept reading to see if any life lesson was going to turn even one into a better, likable person, or if something were to be revealed about a character which would mitigate their unlikability. Didn't happen. The ending was underwhelming and unsatisfactory. Don't bother.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
After reading the reviews posted here I was worried that I was not going to like this book. So many people gave one or two stars, and didn't have much good to say about it.

Needless to say, I loved it. I thought it was fantastic and did not want to put it down. I was sad when it was over and really felt a connection to all of the characters.

I will be sure to look for more books from this author in the future.
Amy Randall
Mar 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a page turner for fun on the beach
This was a page turner. I enjoyed it. It was a cross between a love story and thriller/suspense story. It was a different kind of read for me and definitely brought me out of the serious dramas that I have been reading as of late. Well written for a debut novelist. I will certainly read the next one.
Stacy K B
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
The basis of the book could be one of 'controversy' but, regardless of the pro/anti abortion theme, this book picks up as quick thriller. Just about half way through I become addicted to the characters and did not want to stop reading.
The way the story was written you get to know the characters, as their backgrounds intertwine with their current lives.

Michael and Annie, and their two children; Annie is a bored housewife, who adores her children and her husband, Michael, is a popular Ob/Gyn who
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book has the sentence "She parks in the frozen grass and gets out and walks up to the house with her throat feeling tight and a weight in her chest like a dead squirrel." I'm sorry; I can't get past that. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Sep 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
I pulled this book off the library shelf because on the first page the main character was swearing up a storm. I mean, how often do you get to hear that? Especially followed by "I wanted him to be buried deep in the ground where no one would ever look... when I consider my unrelenting devotion to Jesus, I have to say that I am sorely disappointed." This scene is actually almost the last scene in the book and it took me a few pages from this intense beginning to get into the story. After that, ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book began much better than it ended. From the first few pages I was hooked because it sounded like it was going to be a really good thriller with some kind of amazing plot.

How wrong I was. How very wrong.

The 4 main characters - Michael and Annie Knowles and Simon and Lydia Haas - are all, for the most part, cardboard and unlikable. I never felt as if I should be rooting for any of these characters. Michael is an OB/GYN who moonlights at a local abortion clinic. (This never made sense to
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Contrary to what others may think, I thought this was a wonderfully written and suspenseful book. It really is hard to believe that this is Brundage's debut novel as it written like one of an experienced author. Thankfully I didn't read any of the reviews on here or I may not have read it as I think they are very misleading. It seems like a lot of the people on here took it way too seriously. I can understand how some may feel that Brundage was trying to insult the conservative way of thinking, ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
I didn't finish the book. I read it once a long time ago and I remember it taking me a while to weigh through but this time around, I just couldn't do it. The characters are flat. None of them have any moral likability about them which would be okay if there was a reason for it. Instead, there isn't one. The bad guys are bad because they're religious and the good guys (Although I really hesitate to call them that because they seem like equally horrible human beings) are good because they are the ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Wasn't sure if I was going to like it at first because of the way it went back and forth in different scenes, past to present, etc. However, I did enjoy it very much and found it hard to put down once I continued reading. Although each of the characters had their own skeletons in the closet, so to speak, I felt empathy for each and every one of them, understanding what led them to their actions. At first I was thinking it would have been nice to find out who's baby Annie was pregnant with. But, ...more
first, i was deeply offended by some of the prior reviews of this book, including one by a person who references herself as a "future doctor's wife." i resent any use of the phrase "hardcore feminist" in a derogatory manner to address an opinion that differs from one's own. really and truly, please. become a bit more evolved. This book IS a work of fiction, but it has roots in the modern day "right to life" movement. Not so long ago, quite a few "kill lists" came out on the internet, complete ...more
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Once i started reading this book i could not put it down. It has everything: murder, suspense, romance. There are 4 main characters that are connected to each other by a very controversial subject. I found the book disturbing at times but most certainly would recommend it. I would like to read another book by this author.
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not sure why there's hasn't been more buzz about this book. Brundage's Lydia Haas could give "Amazing Amy" a run for her money (And if you don't know who "Amazing Amy" is, I can't help you!) Fantastic book with great character development. Definite book-to-big screen potential Would read more by her.
Amy Rhoda  Brown
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I picked this book out of a box on someone's front yard because it looked interesting. Before I started it, I thought I'd checked out the reviews here to see if it was any good. I saw that the rating was pretty low, but on closer inspection that seemed like it was because of bad ratings from angry pro-lifers.

It turns out that this is not a great book, pro-lifers or no.

First, the good. I liked the premise and the characters were intriguing. The plot was sound (although it lagged in the middle).

Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I've read books about couples with commitment issues before. Their relationship is lacking, the wife finds someone more intriguing, the husband finds out, there's some other drama thrown into it, the end. But this book is so far off from that.

There isn't a lot of information given in the first part of the book, but it certainly drew me in right away. Actually, the entire book was like that for me: I loved every part of it because it was all so interesting to me. I loved that the author went
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: open minds
i read some reviews about this book that made me hesitant to start it. but i did anyway and i absolutely loved it. i liked the fact that it pushes the limit on humanity, morale, religion, and standing up for what you believe in. this book is about an OB/GYN who volunteers at an abortion clinic to help a friend. he knows there will be pro-life activists but he has no idea that theft, guns, bombs, affairs, kidnapping, drugs, sex, lies, and murder would all be entailed. dr. knowles tries to stand ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
The first few pages caught my interest. However, it became extremely predictable right away. There was no character/relationship development and they were all unlikeable. It seemed as though the writer got to a certain point and then started adding things to the story as she wrote it just to make it longer. It dragged so I ended up speed reading just to get to the end (much like what the writer seemed she was doing...speed writing toward the end just to get it over with).
Sukey  the Book Hoarder
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this years ago and was fascinated by the story.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second of Elizabeth Brundage's psychological suspense novels that I've read -- the other was A Stranger Like You, about which I made some notes here back in February last year -- and if anything I like it the better of the two.

In Albany, upstate New York, Michael is pursuing an ascendant career as an OB/GYN and his journalist wife Annie has an academic appointment teaching writing; they have two young children. Also on Annie's campus is artist Simon Haas, whose days of generating
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
The Doctor's Wife wasn't the book I thought it was going to be... I think I was expecting more suspense, especially based the first line of the book "The memory starts here, in my apron pocket, with the gun."

The four main characters were all deeply flawed, with no real redeeming qualities. Their story was told from different perspectives, all with different takes on the same interactions. I guess that's how real life is, but it left me confused about who was really the "bad guy."

This was the
Kathleen Valentine
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Doctor's Wife is a complex and beautifully-written novel that deals with some tough subject matter. I've read a lot of reviews that complained about the story as having an "agenda" which is unfortunate because it deals quite graphically with a painful reality in our society - violence in the name of righteousness. Specifically violence against women's health clinics where abortions are performed.

The four main characters in the story are complex and interesting people although I have to say
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I did not care for this book. it was a relatively easy read, but Im afraid I may have not read it carefully towards the end. I have a few unanswered questions, but there's a chance I just blew over them. Was her article ever published? What happened to her baby? Why didn't Lydia see Simons car at the house when she arrived? Who stuffed their dog? Did the minister ever get his cat back? How did they find a new house and move when they were at the hospital all week? Where were they moving to and ...more
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
I loved the premise of this book. In the wake of Dr. Tiller's murder, it is important to remember that abortion providers all over the country are putting themselves at risk. But the abortion issue was just one aspect of this amazingly complex portrayal of two married couples and the community they live in.

This book was very suspenseful but as much as I wanted to stay up late reading it, it was also so disturbing and the images so vivid, that I found myself needing to take breaks from the
Mar 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
My mom had read this and gave it to me to read. I started it several months ago and then put it down because I got side tracked by another book that I thought would be more worth my time. A couple of weeks ago I came back to it and then couldn't put it down! Maybe it's because I haven't read a book like this in awhile but I couldn't wait to see how it would end and how the suspense of it would reveal itself. This book was not what I expected it to be but was very good in the end!
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book took me by surprise, the back does not give much away as for the plot, so neither will I. I'll just say that I found the characters very interesting, and as the plot moved along I was more & more interested to see what was going to happen next & how things would turn out for each of the characters. It was definitely a hard to put down book!
Apr 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Total crap. Threw it down after a few chapters. I never throw down books. This book sucks.
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ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE graduated from Hampshire College, attended the NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an MFA as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has taught at Skidmore College, Bard's Simon's Rock College, Trinity College, the University of Hartford, and the Rochester Institute of ...more
“Awkward interests me, he said. At least when you are feeling awkward you are always thinking. When you are feeling fabulous, for example, rare occurrence that it may be, you stop thinking altogether. Which gets you into all kinds of trouble. Hence, you are for the better off feeling awkward. Just the sound of it on your tongue. Like chewing on screws.” 27 likes
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