A Must Read!   4 comments

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese is a 600+ page novel about identity,
familial love and faith (or fate). Set in a missionary hospital in Ethiopia, the
story follows Marion and Shiva Stone, twin boys born to a nun who dies in
childbirth and a British surgeon father who abandons them. Now that’s one head-
turning premise!

Their unlikely birth, the loving physicians who adopt them and the unique bond
of twins share the spotlight with medicine. Marion is the narrator who tells
the story based on his own memories and from what those around him remember.
Chastity and promiscuity are important elements here. They’re bound by love
which means betrayal isn’t far behind. Verghese is a master of description.
His images are vivid and exciting whether of operating rooms or the countryside
of Addis Ababa where most of the story takes place. The story moves easily to
New York City then back to Addis Ababa. The revolution in Ethiopia is part of
the backdrop. Still, the focus is on the staff of the Missing Hospital, a mission
hospital, an appropriately humorous name.

The personality traits of the characters, particularly Marion and Shiva, are
compelling which goes beyond the circumstances of their birth. They are intelli-
gent and full of emotion, yet these twins are remarkably, even painfully,
different. Overall, with few exceptions, these are people we want to get to
know – and, thankfully, do! Don’t be put off by the number of pages; the end
comes all too soon.

Five Bookmarks

667 pages
Vintage Books, 2009
(Full disclosure: I wrote this one a few months ago)


Posted November 6, 2011 by bluepagespecial in Books

4 responses to “A Must Read!

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  1. Ok, now my bedside table is FULL!

  2. My favorite book of the year……..the characters are so well developed, they become friends! As you noted, when the book ends, you are sooooooo dissapointed to leave your friends!

  3. I will start reading this this week. I have been waiting with much anticipation…

  4. This one will have you reading well into the night!

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