“A Medical Affair” by Anne McCarthy Strauss

 photo 8e124c2a-143f-4ac4-945f-49efe3efd871_zps7d391b7f.jpgWhile under the care of her Pulmonologist after a life-threatening asthma attack, Heather Morrison enters into an affair with her doctor. This affair violates the state’s code of conduct and his medical treatment violates the Hippocratic oath. Heather’s life is shattered as a result.

After the doctor terminates the relationship, Heather begins research for her own healing, and armed with this information, she initiates a civil lawsuit. Although it is a work of fiction, A Medical Affair was extensively researched. A Medical Affair is a critical book for women who want to make educated decisions regarding their relationships with their doctors.

I received this book from the Author, Anne McCarthy Strauss, in exchange for an honest review.

The Review:

This story began slowly for me. I tried to start reading several times, but it didn’t catch my interest at first. I was tempted to give it a DNF about 40 pages in. I’m glad I didn’t. Turns out this story was incredibly riveting and a psychological ride.

Anyway, there are a lot of things about this story that bothered me. Initially, I read this as a romance story. So I was pretty ticked off when Dr. Jeff Davis was throwing prescriptions around like candy. Heather has a headache? Here’s some vicodin. What kind of doctor immediately leaps to such a heavy pain killer?! Jeff does.

It becomes clear pretty fast that Jeff abuses his relationship with Heather beyond giving her drugs that she has no business taking. I’d go into details, but I don’t want to ruin the story for others. It becomes sad pretty quick when you realize how much crap Heather puts up with because she trusts Jeff since he’s a doctor – her doctor, which she stresses for some ungodly reason.

The characters are well developed and it was obvious that the author put a great deal of thought into their backgrounds/mannerisms. Jeff is a shallow man with a God complex who is sure to ignite fury in any reader (unless you’re shallow and have a God complex). Heather devolves from a successful business woman into a drug addict who desperately clings onto the love and safety she found in Jeff.

Though one of my biggest issues with the characters was that Heather acted in a way that is contradictory to her belief system. Regardless of how hot Jeff is or how safe he made her feel, I’m a little surprised that the author didn’t bother including a spiritual crisis. Heather is catholic and yet didn’t seem overly worried about going to hell for adultery. It’s briefly mentioned that she sees herself as a sinner, but it’s ignored for the most part and it hurt the character to ignore this facet of her life.

This is a story that a lot of people need to read, regardless of it’s flaws. The writing flows well and it’s a relatively easy read. Dialogue suffered a bit from the overuse medical terminology and word choice. It seemed forced and somewhat stiff and formal at times. It could have used some polishing.

Overall, I’d say this is a good story. It was more serious than I expected, but I appreciated the end result. There are some portions of the story that I felt were unnecessary fluff, though for the most part the story stayed on track. If this were cleaned up, I think that this could have the opportunity to become one of the best stories I’ve ever read. It has the bones of a best seller, but it lost some of its appeal as the author shied away from the erotic scenes and spent too much time filling pages.

~Jessica Weissenburger, Independent Reviewer for Book Reads and Reviews


Grade Scale:

(Based upon the Book Reads and Reviews Rubric)

  • Plot – 6: The plot was good, but it suffered from weak points in the story.
  • Characterization – 6: Good characters, solid psychology behind them. The dialogue was stiff, sometimes too wordy/unrealistic, Heather sometimes took false actions.
  • Style – 8: Good writing, but at times it was overly detailed.
  • Threshold Quality – 6: I’m curious about romantic stories that center around healing the psyche, but this one lacked the romantic flavor I was looking for.
  • Addictiveness – 4: I enjoyed the story while I read it, but I could have just as easily been doing something else.

Total – 30

Rating – 3 Stars



2 thoughts on ““A Medical Affair” by Anne McCarthy Strauss

  1. In my defense, I know so little about Catholicism and the many denominations that center around it. My mom’s family is Catholic, so I drew from what little experience I had. Not sure that would have changed my opinion knowing that though. I think that I might have given it a better rating if my main genre wasn’t romance. I don’t tend to enjoy stories as much when there isn’t romance involved.

  2. Thanks for a very fair review. I could retort a number of comments (i.e. Heather is a “cafeteria Catholic,”) but truly appreciate that a reader who was looking for a romance novel enjoyed A Medical Affair as much as you did.