Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Sometimes I really enjoy a big, meaty, old-fashioned novel that begins with how our hero came into being and over along with an intricate plot that falls perfectly into place. Add beautiful language and real human insight. Add incredible richness of character.

Of course, I have an affinity for stories about twins, which this very much is. Shiva and Marion — born to a white doctor and Indian nun/nurse living in Ethiopia, raised by two Indian doctors on the grounds of a hospital in Ethiopia affectionately known as “Missing.” Politics are a vivid backdrop but also an important part of the plot. There are some perhaps unlikely but not completely implausible coincidences. I’ve heard complaints about the detailed descriptions of surgeries (I understand the author is a surgeon), but I never felt it was too much, at least not for me. It was just very vivid. I’ll remember these characters for a long time.

Nothing fancy here. Nothing terribly innovative. Nothing mind-blowing. Just a good solid novel. (Kind of like The Heart’s Invisible Furies, among my recent reads, although less comic, certainly).

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