Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese...a review

Cutting for Stone is my second favorite read of the year. [Technically, it shares a tie for second with The Help on my list of favorites]. Abraham Verghese is a fantastic writer. Cutting for Stone is over 600 pages and yet I can't recall a single moment in which I questioned my want to read this book. I love when a book can pull me away from my familiar surroundings and immerse me so completely into another time, location, and culture... as if it were my actual norm. Abraham Verghese does this with such ease one would think the reader already had close familial ties with the characters.

Marion Stone, our main character, and his twin brother, Shiva, are born in "Missing", a small area in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that is home to a primitive, yet extremely necessary, hospital for the locals. The boys are not just born in "Missing", they are raised there; and so from the very beginning, we are introduced to the world of medicine just like the boys, as if we too are learning the craft. Both Marion and Shiva ultimately pursue an education in medicine, but they do so very differently, their choices reflecting their personalities. 

Marion's traditional outlook and Shiva's unorthodox style are character traits that are detailed over and over again as the boys grow up. The secrets surrounding their mother and their birth force a fissure between these bothers that make it impossible for each to understand the other. While the medical jargon and overall "doctoring" fills page after page, it is the brothers' differences in personality and basic understanding of life that pushes the story along. 

I really enjoyed this book and I think most readers will feel the same.


  1. I've been wanting to read this!! I'll add it to my list!


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