Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
borrowed from a friend
Description from Goodreads:
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death 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.

Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.

My take:

Cutting for Stone was a book choice for my book club. At first I was very impressed with this book. It really is beautifully written. I loved the descriptions of Africa and the depiction of life there. This book was very ambitious. It takes on many issues including love/lust, betrayal, forgiveness, family, sibling relationships, and tragedy. The first two thirds of the book were pretty amazing if you can excuse some pretty big coincidences --which I was completely willing to do because I loved how beautifully written it was. The relationship between the twins, Marion and Shiva was compelling if a little confusing. The two brothers have a complicated relationship and it was rather fascinating to read about the evolution of this relationship. Unfortunately, the final third of the book was so disappointing for me. Actually, the last fourth of the novel just seemed to unravel for me. I felt the coincidence of Marion running into Genet in the US was just too much. And once he ran into her I felt like I had been completely deceived about the character of Marion through the first three fourths of the book. He seemed to devolve into a brutal Neanderthal. At this point, I finished the book just to see how far the story would plunge. I felt let down because the story had started so beautifully and ended in a grungy mess. Maybe I'm missing the point and I should see how fragile life is and all people have their weaknesses, we should forgive and blah, blah, blah. I know many people really loved this book, but I felt disappointed by the ending - especially because of how it started off. So, to recap, loved the first three fourths, should have stopped before the final fourth.


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