Cutting for Stone

Title: Cutting for Stone
Writers : Abraham Verghese
Published: 2010
Genre: Fiction
My Rating: 3.5 on 5

Cutting for Stone is the story of twin brothers, who are born conjoined but are later separated. They are born to an Indian nun and a British surgeon and are orphaned at birth because of their mother’s death and their father’s abandonment. The book is about their parents, the boys’ birth, their childhood and how their lives are intertwined no matter how physically separated they are.

The first thing I noticed about the book is its easy flowing, non-assuming writing and the strong characters. There is a lot of medical jargon used, which I found very interesting, but might put off some readers. There are quite a handful of characters in this book and each every one of them gets layers and depth and is very strongly etched. Marion and Shiva, the twins and leads of this book, though are identical in appearance, are so different when it comes personality and the author beautifully differentiates between the two, so when you are reading, you visualize two different images in your mind, though identical, but different. Sister and Dr. Stone are so vividly portrayed, one can feel the pain and sorrow they both feel. One particular character that stands out is Genet. She starts out as a sweet, loving character, turns into a wild beast on hormones and then a rebel and then a defeated soul. All through her turbulent journey, the author evokes just the right emotion from the reader.

The story starts off slowly, but has many interesting twists which keep your interest piqued. It is no secret (and in fact every reader expects it) that the boys end up meeting their biological father, but the circumstances are very interesting. The story turned a bit melodramatic for me, ala bollywood, but what came next made me forget these sappy pages. The book has a shocking revelation in the end, which again was too bollywood-ish for me.

Apart from the interesting story and the strong characters, the beautiful writing make this book a great read. The story keeps moving and you live the lives of the boys all through. If you like an entertaining story and wouldn’t mind a bit of medical jargon thrown in, go right in and dive into this book.



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