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Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Club Book Review: Cutting For Stone By Abraham Verghese

My Book Club's book choice for the month of June was Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese

This is a story about Siamese twins Marion and Shiva born from a secret union between an Indian Nun and English surgeon. The scene is set in Addis Abad in Ethiopia in the mid 1900s onwards.

The story is narrated by numerous characters including the Indian Nun and English surgeon (the twins parents) but mostly the first born twin Marion takes over the story and we hear his every thought in life from a young child to when he's a middle aged man and the pages are filled with such detail you feel you're on this life journey with him.

There are many meanings in this story - from the people of Ethiopia, it's leaders and politics, medical treatment and controversial practices, studying and school and the willingness to learn, but the main focus of the story throughout is about family. The love of family and what they will do for each other because for them family is the people in their community, their helpers, cooks and cleaners all form part of their close family unit.

This was a really long book and it took you through daily life in a missionary hospital in town, there was a lot of surgery and medical terminologies which made a lasting impression on me and at times I found very difficult to read. I can only imagine how long this book must have taken to write as it is full of such detail that would've needed to be meticulously researched.

I enjoyed this book and was moved by the messages in it and I wanted to score it higher but it just had too much medical jargon and was about 200 pages too long at over 500 pages it was a very lengthy book to get through.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in medicine and the life and culture of Ethiopia.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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