Read The World — Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese (Ethiopia)

Country 54 Ethiopia. Blurb from, please scroll down for my review.

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.

My Review

Quote” Pushcarts loaded impossibly high with bananas, with bricks, with melons, and even one carrying two lepers weaved through the pedestrian traffic.

This book taught me about some of the medical difficulties women have in Africa.

An epic, Literary fiction, long novel, full of energy. Especially at the beginning it seemed to be a little excessive. A major introduction to the characters, Hema, Ghosh, Thomas Stone and Sister Mary Joseph Praise. In this section of the book, before the twins were born and during their birth the medical details were long and dragged out, although one of my favourite parts was in the beginning, where Hema was on her way home on the plane. It also seemed as if this was written differently, with a different style.

Written from the point of view of only one of the twins, the other is a secondary character in the book. Hema and Ghosh are also secondary characters but very important, enjoyable characters. Thomas was one of my least favourite along with Genet.

Once the twins were born, in a very dragged out way, with many details of the dramatic birth, the story was more interesting, more family saga style until the end, when again there were many medical details.

Some details of the coup in Addis Ababa and descriptions of a colourful capital, but as the author mentions at the end of the novel this is a book of fiction.

There are times, during the section when the novel is based in Ethiopia you can clearly understand the difficulties of woman, as so much of the medical part is based on gynaecology as well as the majority of the original characters, those who work in the hospital in Addis are migrants or in exile from their birth countries.

The language is easy to understand, the author does not use difficult words and there is no need to spend ages using the dictionary, but this was in parts of a medical book rather than a family saga. The author has a clear understanding of medicine not only in a hospital but also is able to describe detailed operations in his book. These medical procedures sections that are detailed are easy to speed read through as it does not take away any of your enjoyment of the book without knowing these details.

I am giving this book 4 stars. Please consider subscribing and hitting the like button to continue this journey around the world with me. The next country we are visiting is Colombia.

Originally published at on December 13, 2021.




Photographer and web designer from the UK but living in Ecuador, spending as much time as I can reading and reviewing books. Stock photography of Ecuador

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Jo Reason

Jo Reason

Photographer and web designer from the UK but living in Ecuador, spending as much time as I can reading and reviewing books. Stock photography of Ecuador

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