Reviewed by Sara Padilla

In his first attempt at fiction, Dr. Sanjay Gupta presents the stories of five surgeons as they work to mend men and women and save lives on the operating table. We observe them make critical and literal life-or-death decisions, often rushed, always significant, and look at the unique role of this profession and the perceptions – sometimes false – surrounding it.

The author of this tale is well known as the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, and this lends a solemn credibility to the description of the surgeons’ experiences, which are compelling and sometimes frightening. For readers who enjoy medical drama, Monday Mornings is a fun read with plenty of medical language and dialogue (although some may think there is an excess of medical terminology throughout the book). The characters are easy to relate to and care about in many respects, and interesting enough to want to know what happens next.

The subculture of the hospital system, and in particular, neurosurgery is one that not many people intimately understand. This book offers the reader a chance to learn more about how life-changing procedures are conducted and the unexpected or unintended consequences. It also gives us a glimpse of what really goes on in the work lives of nurses, physicians and other medical professionals. Because the story is told by a neurosurgeon, it is not necessarily the most literary version of what happens, but is well written and easy to find engaging.

Overall, Monday Mornings is an entertaining and thoughtful book with engaging dialogue, witty and smart characters and a unique look at a subject not that well explored in popular literature. It takes an interesting subject matter and makes it accessible to the every day reader.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Ms. Sara Padilla is a freelance writer and maintains a personal blog on family, health and wellness. She resides in the Pacific Northwest.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Grand Central Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.