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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is a must read.  It has depth that only a select set of authors can truly capture.  The novel has been translated in multiple languages and is an international bestseller.

The paperback version is kind of heavy and has really small print.  So for a more comfortable reading experience, I recommend getting the Kindle edition.  The prices for each are about the same.

Abraham Verghese is a doctor and professor of medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.  He also has a degree in creative writing and has written two other nonfiction books.  You can see his expertise reflected in the medical descriptions in Cutting for Stone.

Cutting for Stone follows twins Marion and Shiva, born to a nun and skilled surgeon in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The delivery is a difficult one to say the least, and changes the lives of Missing Hospital’s staff forever.  The story is told in the past and a much older, present day Marion is the narrator.  Throughout the book, the reader will find various themes such as love, family, medicine and politics all woven together to form an intricate storyline.  Despite the rifts and hardships that each character faces, it all works out in the end.

I have to warn you.  Cutting for Stone is very detailed.  It can really suck you in, but it can also wear you out keeping up with the story’s progression.  So, take breaks!  I love the writing style and the characters’ personalities.  Even though the majority of the book was set in another country 50 years ago, I could still relate to the characters as if they lived in America today.

Kris

“Cutting for Stone is a coming of age novel which emphasizes the way in which we are shaped by the forces and intricacies of our past. Verghese pays particular attention to themes around loss. He writes about the desperation to fill voids and the struggle of letting go. Verghese also writes about freedom, both psychological and physical. He writes about love as a terror and as a savior. He writes about sacrifice and passion. He writes of the importance of perspective in order to foster empathy. The themes are plentiful, profound, and woven together throughout each of the characters’ stories.”

 

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