Book Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting novel from an author I’ve not heard of before. I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. It took me until I was over a third of the way through the book to warm to the characters and feel any empathy towards them. But once I did I found I liked their company and looked forward to each opportunity to sit down and be with them.

Part of me wonders if I didn’t feel so at home initially because most of the book is set in Ethiopia – a country of which I have no real knowledge or heart for. Part of me wonders if I warmed to some of the characters because they were Indian – for exactly the opposite reasons.

What I can say, for certain, is that I didn’t enjoy the ending. I know it is in vogue now not to bring plots to nice (and so, trite) endings but even so, Verghese does bring closure of sorts, and at times manages to be quite predictable with it, but it is not a closure fitting the nature of the book. I came away dissatisfied and feeling a little cheated.

That said, I didn’t feel as though my time had been wasted. This book made me ask the right questions, to ponder what it means to be alive, the nature of love, of loyalty, of what it means to lose and what true devotion might look like. Good books make you ask these sorts of questions; so this is undoubtedly one of those.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

  1. Thanks for the short review. So does that mean you have to be from the same country as book’s characters to warm up to them? Would you have warmed up sooner had the characters been Indian from the get-go? Or is this a flaw in the book itself?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good questions. No definitely you don’t have to be from the same country. I’m British but have many years experience in Bangladesh and India – so books set there particularly appeal. But so did Memoirs of A Geisha, Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God, Bill Brysons’ books on America, Marc Levy’s Et Si C’etait Vrai and countless other books set in countries I don’t know or don’t know well.

      So I would say it was something about the book itself in this case rather than an inability to connect with characters from a country unknown to me.

      Thanks for the interesting questions!


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