Janelle's Reviews > Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
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Sep 04, 12

bookshelves: nook, read-with-my-book-group, re-read
Read in December, 2011

This book appears on so many "must read" lists and I knew it was just a matter of time until I got to it. It was worth the wait - a perfect book to sink into over winter break. Verghese's novel is satisfyingly long (600 pages); by the time I was thoroughly invested, I thrilled to the realization that I had 5/6 of the novel remaining. This blissful sensation does not occur often in the course of a year's reading!

I commented to several people early on that Cutting for Stone reminded me of The Cider House Rules - the relaxed and expansive style of the narrator, the interlocking storylines, the medical setting, the moral setting...and that feeling was confirmed when I read the acknowledgements and learned that Verghese was inspired by John Irving's publications and correspondence. If you like Irving, you should read this. Verghese has a gift for developing characters who are glorious in their strengths and flaws, but above all, characters about whom the reader genuinely cares. I'll admit that a few tears were shed while reading.

On a side note, this is the first book that I have read cover-to-cover on my new Nook Tablet. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. Twice I caught myself reaching up to the top right corner of the device to turn the page, so complete was my immersion in the reading experience. I also loved the ability to read in bed without a lamp - just change the screen setting to "night" (white text on black) and reduce the brightness, and your loved one won't even know you're staying up too late reading. This could be a serious advance at our house!
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I re-read this in Fall 2012 for my book group discussion and loved it just as much the second time around. I'd like to learn more about Ethiopian history, especially because it's not far away from the Middle East region I read so much about last year in the Conflict & Resistance in the Middle East series.

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