Cutting for Stone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel — an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.
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.
An unforgettable journey into one man's remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.
Review: We read this book for my book club, but we didn't have much of a discussion about it at all. It's such a long book that I'm not sure anyone but me actually finished it in time. I don't mind long books if they are captivating; in fact, I prefer them to be long so that I can spend as much time as possible with the characters. And this was one book that I was sad to put down.
I enjoyed learning about Ethiopia (did you know it is pronounced Eeth-yo-pya by natives, not Ee-thee-o-pee-a?) and about the medical profession in Africa contrasted to the United States. Having said that, there was an awful lot of medical jargon that I just didn't understand or care about, and some of it was a little graphically disturbing. It wasn't an easy read, and I'm not sure there was a single character that I liked unreservedly, but overall, I am very glad I read it.
Rating: 4 stars