Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This sweeping novel is the story of twin boys who grow up at an Ethiopian charitable hospital. Marion and Shiva Stone are born to an Indian nurse and an American doctor working at the Missing Hospital in the 1950s. Their birth is shocking because the nurse was a nun and no one knew she was pregnant. She died giving birth and the father, stricken by the death of his love, flees the hospital and never returns.

Marion and Shiva are raised by two other surgeons at the hospital who love them as their own. Under the backdrop of the political crises during Ethopia during the 1970s the brothers are torn apart, both emotionally and physically. Marion goes to the United States where he becomes a surgeon. He eventually finds a bittersweet peace with all of his family members, including the father who abandoned him.

This book is completely different from the non-fiction Verghese book I read earlier this year. But both books show that Verghese is a talented writer, regardless of the genre or subject he takes on. I really enjoyed learning more about Ethiopia and its internal struggles. I thought the pacing was a little slow in parts and some readers may be disturbed by the graphic nature of the medical descriptions. But I found this book fascinating and ultimately satisfying.

Also reviewed by: Bermudaonion's Weblog ~ Lesley's Book Nook ~ The Boston Bibliophile ~ Your link here?
Source: Gift


bermudaonion said...

I wanted to love this book, but I just had trouble connecting with it. Verghese is a gifted writer, but I thought the story was too long.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I agree with Bermudaonion. I was all over the rating map and ended with a 3.25/5 which was just okay.