Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should have paid attention to how long this book was before I started reading on my Kindle, I might have paced myself better.

It's a wonderful epic that spans lifetimes across continents. The story is told by one of twin brothers born to a nun who dies in childbirth and to a surgeon who runs away. The title "Cutting for Stone" comes from the Hippocratic Oath which says in part, "I will not cut for stone," meaning a physician will not practice surgery. (The practice of medicine was different in ancient times.) The title also refers to the runaway surgeon, Thomas Stone.

Two physicians become foster parents to the twins and raise them at Missing (Mission) Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ghosh, the foster father told the boys their birth was a mystery to Thomas Stone, "like Joseph, clueless about Mary and the baby."

The author is a physician who fills the story with medical details. Just when I thought I had read more about obstetrics and gynecological surgery than I every wanted to know, the story moves on to volvulus and fistulas, and transplants, Oh My! Throw in a failed coup against Emperor Haile Selassie, and you have a really fast-paced page-turner of a story. Did I mention a plane hijack and an escape to the USA.

There is so much in this book about family devotion, betrayal, and forgiveness, it took my breath away.

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1 comment:

Keala Jacobs said...

You make me believe that I need a Kindle for myself...