Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cutting for Stone Deserves More than Five Stars!

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is a brilliant novel, but that wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has read Dr. Verghese’s other books. I loved My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story and I know I’ll be running out to get The Tennis Partner next. Dr. Verghese is a powerful storyteller and his books are beautifully written.

The setting of Cutting for Stone is in both Ethiopia and the United States. A nun and doctor travel to a small hospital in Ethiopia, which begins a series of mishaps and intriguing scenarios. A long story short, the nun gives birth to twins who are co-joined and separated. The doctor disappears and the nun dies in childbirth. But this is only the beginning. Although a piece of fiction, it is based on actual events such as the unrest in Ethiopia during Emperor Haile Selaisse's reign.

The twins, Marion and Shiva, are cared for and loved by two other doctors at Missing (Mission) Hospital. The story continues as the boys grow to become young men with one having to flee the country. He continues his education in the United States and eventually meets his father again. The other twin continues his on-the-job training as a specialist in Ethiopia along with his adoptive mother.

This short description doesn’t give the book justice, but I don’t want to give away the story. Let me just say that I couldn’t put this book down. If there’s any way of giving the book six stars in a five-star rating system, I certainly would. Cutting for Stone is a powerful book. You simply must read it. You won’t be sorry.

1 comment: