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Cutting for Stone Online by Abraham Verghese

Click Here to Download the Book A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home. Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth 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. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him—nearly destroying him—Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him. An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.

Reviews Do you know the feeling of spending a significant portion of time reading a rather long novel and when you reach the conclusion you are actually sad to say goodbye to the complex and interesting characters that inhabit the story? I experience this phenomonon with the occasional book. This is exactly how I felt about Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Set in the exotic and unusual locale of Ethiopia, Cutting for Stone tells the story of Marion and Shiva Stone--twin brothers. Their mother, a nun, dies during childbirth and their father, a surgeon, flees abandoning them to the other doctors and staff of the Missing Hospital in Ethiopia. As the boys learn and grow and develop their own talents in medicine, the novel builds on their relationship and what it means to be family and what it means to be an individual. The characters are at once real, sympathetic and admirable. I'm coming late to the table with this novel and I can only echo the sentiments shared by many others. This book is fabulous, intelligent, thrilling and riveting. It is a rare gem of literary genius.

This epic story had me utterly captivated from chapter one. It is masterful storytelling and makes reader acutely aware of the innate wisdom and humble humanity that Abraham Verghese possesses. I was fortunate to see this author in person one recent evening while I was just beginning to read this novel. That particular day had been physically and emotionally demanding and by day's end I was feeling beaten down by life. I debated even going to the lecture but decided that since I'd already bought my ticket that I'd follow through. I am so glad I did because Verghese has the ability to connect with his audience in such an emotional way that one simply is captivated and uplifted by his tales. It's the same way reading this novel. The setting, character development and plot transports one first to Africa then to the U.S. and finally back to the homeland, Ethiopia. It's the story of Marion Stone, a conjoined twin disjoined at birth from his brother Shiva, from his childhood on the grounds of a struggling charity hospital in Addis Ababa, through his flight from Ethiopia during the 1974 revolution, his medical studies in American, his search for the father he never knew, his quest for a sense of self and full circle to Shivamarion. I've spent my career working in hospital laboratories. This book celebrates medical knowledge and kept me engrossed with the descriptions of illnesses their treatments and surgical intervention. When the narrative progressed to the liver transplant I was blown away. My dear brother, now deceased, under went this last hope surgery. Forget those million copies sold and 2+ yrs. on the NYTimes bestseller list, I swear, this book was written for ME!! I'm going to recommend it to every thoughtful, reading medical professional I know. And even if they're not in the medical field, if they're thoughtful, I'm going to suggest they read it.


This was an exquisitely beautiful novel. I was deeply moved by each chapter. Abrahm Verghese is a poet in a white coat, writing about love, loss, betrayal, and the complex beauty of the human spirit using the language of medicine—an astounding feat. What I love most about this or any great book is a comingling of sacred and secular, because to me this is the truest observation about life— that we are both made in the image of God and born into sin all at once, capable of great love and great hurt, every one. Verghese shines this honest light on each of his characters, whom he handles with care, the way a skillful surgeon would painstakingly tie his delicate knots. All the characters are important. All the details are rich. It is a lush, sweeping story with many facets that spans the lives of conjoined twins who were born to an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa at the time over periods of the Ethiopian revolution. I am sad to be finished with it. I feel like I am possibly sounding too lofty as I try to convey how profoundly beautiful this story is as well as the skill by which it is written, but truly, it is a novel of the highest order, one of the best I’ve ever read.

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