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Archive for December, 2011

Cutting for Stone is generally told in the first person by Marion, one of two twin boys born to Sister Mary Joseph Praise in Missing Hospital in Ethiopia.  At various points in time, the book focuses on the stories of other main characters in Marion’s life – his biological father, Dr. Thomas Stone; the man who was his father, Ghosh ; the woman who became his mother, Hema; and even the Matron at the Missing Hospital.  Marion’s incredible story of life in Ethiopia, including govenrment unrest and upheaval, rapes, mutilations, and killings, still somehow felt loving and familial due to the family that his adopted parents Ghosh and Hema set up around them. Ghosh and Hema were Doctors at Missing Hospital, and so it was natural that Marion and Shiva would grow to have an interest in medicine.

Marion’s relationships in this book are each individual and fit with each person so perfectly.  Marion’s relationship with his brother Shiva was extremely close – they could know what each was thinking or feeling without having to communicate out loud – Marion attributed this to the cord that bound their heads together when they were born.  The relationship between the two brothers understandably becomes complicated as the boys grow older, but I still trusted that they were almost the same person throughout the book.   The book is a long one, but worth every word – even when there is excrutiating detail about fistula and liver transplant surgery.

Because of the way the book is written, I found it incredibly easy to picture Marion’s life in Ethiopia – just as easily as I was able to picture his later life in New York.  It is beautifully written and – once I got going – hard to put down.  I highly recommend this book.

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