Connie's Reviews > Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
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Jul 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: africa, winter-2011, book-club, medicine, historical-fiction, favorites, ethiopia
Read 2 times. Last read January 8, 2012 to January 17, 2012.

Twin boys, Marion and Shiva Stone, are orphaned when their mother dies in childbirth. They are the children of British surgeon Dr Thomas Stone and an Indian nun who was his surgical assistant at a mission hospital in Ethiopia. The distraught Dr Stone disappears, leaving the boys to be adopted by a loving Indian couple, both doctors at the hospital.

Much of the book is told from the point of view of Marion. The boys share the special bond of twins so that sometimes Marion thinks of them as one entity, ShivaMarion. The book tells the story of their lives during which Ethiopia goes through several regime changes. Betrayals and secrets haunt their lives, and drive a wedge between them.

The author infuses the book with the sights, smells, and rhythms of Ethiopia. Abraham Verghese is also a doctor, and he shows us the beauty and despair of medicine in both a Third World country and the United States, where Marion does his surgical residency. The book is superb with compelling characters, exotic locations, and a good story. I considered the medical descriptions a definite highlight, but they might bother some readers.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
July 5, 2011 – Shelved
August 7, 2011 – Shelved as: africa
December 5, 2011 – Shelved as: winter-2011
January 8, 2012 – Started Reading
January 9, 2012 – Shelved as: book-club
January 17, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 17, 2012 – Shelved as: medicine
January 17, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites
January 17, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 23, 2014 – Shelved as: ethiopia
February 17, 2017 – Shelved as: immigrant-experi... (Hardcover Edition)
February 17, 2017 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Dolors (new) - added it

Dolors I've been doubting to buy this book because I've seen controversial reviews out there, but with your review I'm inclined to add it to the cart right now...seems engaging, to say the least!
Thanks for sharing...


Connie Dolors wrote: "I've been doubting to buy this book because I've seen controversial reviews out there, but with your review I'm inclined to add it to the cart right now...seems engaging, to say the least!
Thanks f..."


It was one of my favorite book of last year. It did go off on some historical tangents about Ethiopia that bothered some people. I hope you enjoy it.


Sara I found the medical descriptions added a great deal to the book. There was an authenticity that made the entire book seem deeper. Love your review.


Connie Sara wrote: "I found the medical descriptions added a great deal to the book. There was an authenticity that made the entire book seem deeper. Love your review."

Thanks, Sara. I've worked in healthcare so I'm amazed at doctors working without all the scans and other tools that are available in the more developed countries.


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