Cutting for Stone is a fantastic book! It would easily have made my ‘Best of 2009’ list, had I read it sooner and I’m sure it will be one of my favourite reads of 2010. At 500+ pages, it isn’t a quick read, but it was well worth the investment of time as the story will stay with me for many years.
The book begins in Ethiopia with a nun giving birth to identical twins. The birth is a shock to everyone who worked with her at Missing, a small hospital struggling to cope with limited resources, as no-one even knew she was pregnant. Unfortunately the nun dies, leaving the father of the children a mystery. The book then follows the twins as they grow up, learning the secrets of their parentage and trying to make the most of themselves in a country on the brink of revolution.
The author, Abraham Verghese, is a doctor and this becomes obvious very early on. The book is packed with medical references and the heart of the novel concerns the differences in medical practices around the world. I admit that sometimes the medical references went over my head, but I felt they gave the book an authenticity that only added to my appreciation of it.
This book is massive in scope, both in terms of the time period covered and continents of the globe visited. It gives an insight into life during a difficult period of Ethiopian history, but also reveals the the universal complexities of family relationships.
Cutting for Stone had the rare ability to bring tears to my eyes, a sign that I had completely connected with the characters and actually cared about their fate.
Have you read Cutting for Stone?
Did you love it as much as I did?