Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Vintage Books, New York, 2009
I own this one, another book read for the TBR Dare. Winner of the 2010 Indies Choice Book Award.
A book that I waited too long to read. I am glad I finally got around to it.
Cutting for Stone is the story of twins Marion and Shiva, sons of a secret union between a British surgeon and an Indian nun. Born at the “Missing Hospital” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the twins are orphaned when their mother dies giving birth to them and their father disappears. They are left in the care of the two doctors left at “Missing”, Dr. Kalpana Hemlatha and Dr. Abhi Ghosh and raised on the grounds of the hospital and among the people of the neighborhood.
Over time Hema and Ghosh, Marion and Shiva form a family that grows to include the people around them. This novel is just as much about what a family can be, about what it can mean, as it is about Marion and Shiva and the mystery of their birth parents. It is also about other things, about surgery and medicine, about the history of Ethiopia and Eritrea, about being forced to leave your homeland. It is dense, layered and beautifully written. I devoured it so quickly I forgot to mark passages to quote and now find it difficult to choose any. It will be one of my favorite books of the year.
I have read articles and reviews by Abraham Verghese and thoroughly enjoyed them. I have added his book My Own Country to my TBR list.