Review: ‘Cutting for Stone’ by Abraham Verghese

I read this book as a book club choice. Having read the blurb on the back, it wasn’t necessarily one I’d choose to read otherwise. However, I am really pleased I took the time to read this. The first third of the story is setting-up and therefore seems to drag at times but the pay-off was enough that I didn’t feel too hard done by.

The simplest way to describe ‘Cutting for Stone’ is a family saga although it spans several families, continents and decades.

‘Cutting for Stone’ follows the journey of twins who, after being orphaned due to their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance. Set initially in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the story follows Marion as he leaves his home after being implicated in a terrorist attack. Newly qualified as a doctor, Marion finds work in a hospital in an underfunded New York City hospital. He also finds a lot more, including forgiveness.

The medical terminology and description is very vivid although Verghese himself is also a surgeon and so knows what he’s talking about!

This is an intense, ambitious novel that considers a wealth of issues including the horror of revolution, medicine and sexual awakening. I think one word to describe this novel is: epic.

Vic x

Get your copy of ‘Cutting for Stone’ here:


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