Title: Cutting for Stone
Author: Abraham Verghese
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publish Date: February 2009
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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."
My Two Cents:
"Cutting for Stone" is one of those books where I can't believe it took me so long to get to it! My Reading Challenge for this year (trying to read a book set in every country) luckily pushed me to get this book off my TBR and on to my read list. In Ethiopia, twins Marlon and Shiva are born out of a secret love affair and adopted by a couple of Indian doctors. We see them grow up throughout the book and begin to get curious about their origins and how that story has shaped the rest of their life.
Especially since having my own twins, I am fascinated by twin stories. It is so interesting to see how connected the twins are to each other even when a betrayal between the brothers literally forces continents between them. The relationship really rang true to me. When the twins try to extricate themselves from each other, they are still pulled towards each other in ways that they never expected.
The characters in the book are so good and so memorable. The twins were definitely my favorite but I love how the author makes the secondary characters stand apart as well. Each of the secondary characters play such a key role in the lives of the twins and I like how they become a major part of the story themselves.
This book is set in Ethiopia at a volatile time in the country's history where the country is rapidly changing. This book was a great introduction to the country for me. I really enjoyed seeing the country through this fictional story. The detail was really good and I loved how vivid the setting was!