January 28, 2011

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

6 of 10: After a really slow start, I found myself enjoying Cutting for Stone, but I don't have the intense love for it that so many people do.

I'm glad to have read this book. It is widely popular right now and I don't like having not read something that so many people have read (how do people stand not having read Harry Potter? Muggles!).

It took me . . .well . . .forever to get through.

This is a book, I think, that I would have greatly benefited from an introductory summary. I read it with no idea where it was going or who the story was even about. Sometimes I like that, but for this book, which has quite a lot of things going on, I could have used a little hand holding.

The story is told from Marion's point of view - he and his twin brother, Shiva, were born in an Ethiopian hospital to a nun (one hardly needs to point out that this is problematic, to say the least). The father appears to be the primary surgeon at the hospital, Dr. Stone, but he seems, like everyone else at the hospital, to have had absolutely no idea that she was pregnant. She dies in childbirth and Dr. Stone
flees. The twins are raised by Hema and Ghosh, two other doctors at Missing hospital.

And then something (oh, lets be honest here, it's a girl) creates a mega-rift between the brothers and Marion leaves to become a doctor in America. Where, of course, it turns out that Dr. Stone is and Marion ends up having to confront the very things he was trying to escape.

I have to say, I'm a complete wimp about reading medical things. I cannot even read a sentence that contains mention of a scalpel without wanting to throw up. (I know, how I managed to birth a baby is completely beyond me too). So that does make this book a little difficult for me.

I liked this book; I did. Once I was finally about halfway through, it really picked up for me and I finished it in about a week. It was just the first half that nearly did me in. And the ending nearly brought me to tears (and not just because I was finally done with it after plugging along for three months).

Now that it's been a month or so since I finished it, I find myself almost wanting to go back and reread it now that I know where it's going. But, you know, only almost

Copy kindly lent to me by Becca


  1. Sorry you didn't love it. I actually liked the first half better than the second, and for some weird reason the medical stuff didn't bother me (usually the sight of a blood drive sign is enough to make me pass out).

  2. I only skimmed your review because I have to read this for book club soon. It does seem to be the hot title right now.

  3. Hmm. I've heard this book mentioned all over the place too. But I am not one to keep plugging away at a book if the beginning is slow. So I'm not sure I'd have your perseverance with this one!

  4. Well, I'm glad you... sort of... liked it? Maybe? Haha - I should have held your hand more, I'm sorry! It's at week 52 on the NYT best seller list, so someone must like it! :)

  5. I'm with Melanie...I LOVED the first part. And medical stuff never bothers me in books. We shall agree to disagree cause I really loved this one.

  6. Okay, see, I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a hard time!

  7. I enjoyed all of it but it didn't truly suck me in until about halfway though, just like you. I still would have given it more like 8/10 though.

  8. I knew that you were rather squeamish, but I don't think I realized how very squeamish you were until reading this. I'm on hold for it at the library, and I'm finally up to the ninth spot! Maybe I'll get it before I move!


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