May 01, 2012

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone is the story of twin boys Marion and Shiva, born of Missing parents into Ethiopia, and their life long journeys towards discovering and accepting who they are. Missing does not just describe the physical state of their parents, it is also the name of the well-loved and hard-used hospital where they are born, live, and grow up.

The word story does not do this novel justice--it is far more a saga than a story, and in the course of reading it you will come to know and love many people who orbit these two fascinating boys. My mouth watered at every meal time passage, and I could feel the dry and wet earthiness of Ethiopia, as well as the foreign taste of New York as seen through an immigrant's eyes. The novel transported me--and not only to new countries, but into the operating room and the experiences of a surgeon. Medicine binds the characters together throughout the story, but at times surgery is also the event that tears them apart.

It takes some dedication to see the story through, as there are many pages between these covers, but the work is well worth it. I'll continue to think about the themes and craft behind Cutting for Stone for some time.


  1. One of my favourite reads this year. A beautiful, all-consuming book.


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