Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 560 pages

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him—nearly destroying him—Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him. (Goodreads)

Review: I've heard so many amazing things about this book that I was nervous to pick it up--I didn't feel like it could hold up to my expectations. And at first, that's what it seemed like it would happen as I read the book, because the first 100 pages or so were just good, not great. But once I got out of the backstory and into the pages that began to develop the main character, I fell in love.

Everything in this book was woven together perfectly, and as one thing led to another I never knew what was coming but it always made perfect sense. And everything had a purpose in the grand scheme of the book, whether to show how the characters evolve or to further advance the plot to the perfect conclusion.

I really connected with Marion, the main character. Reading about events from his point of view felt like how I would have experienced them, and by the end all I wanted was for him to a happy ending (finally).

The medicine involved in the book also made me want to learn more about the topics being discussed--it's hard to unravel truth from fiction in a story involving fictional characters, but as I did I learned a lot about topics I never would have thought to research on my own.

You should read this book if you have ever enjoyed any novel, because you will enjoy this one too. Every part of it, from characters to plot to setting are fantastic and work to make this book the incredible story it is.


  1. Reading it now, about 1/6 in, and have to finish by 5/6 for book group, but it's so involving thus far I don't think it'll be a problem.

  2. I'm glad you loved the book! It'll probably be my favorite of the year. I thought it was amazing!

  3. While the description of this book does not necessarily grab me, I've heard such rave reviews of it on Books on the Nightstand, who rarely steer me wrong, that I've been intending to read this. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well.