Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tell us the title:
Cutting for Stone

Who penned this work?:
Abraham Verghese

How did this piece find it's way to your nightstand?:
A coworker recommended this story, and lent it to me.

Number of pages:

Time passed from start to finish?:
About a week

Describe the cover:

In what section of the bookstore would a reader find this?:

Summary of the basic plot:
"Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon.  Orphaned by their mother's death 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.  Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles -- and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined." (from back cover)

What did you think of it? (your general response, what you liked or didn't like, what you learned, anything else you want to share about it):
At first I dragged my feet on opening this book and starting it.  It didn't sound interesting to me, and I don't typically read fiction stories that are about real life.  A few chapters in, however, and I found myself hooked.  I had to keep reminding myself that this was in fact fiction, as it seemed so real and so possible.  A captivating story combined with beautiful writing made for quite a journey.

Which page was your favorite? Share why:
I would say that my favorite page was the first one with a quote that stopped me in my tracks: "Her skills were so rare, so needed for the poorest of the poor, and even at times in the royal palace, that she felt valued.  Wasn't that the definition of home?  Not where you are from, but where you are wanted?"

If the story was made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
I don't even have the remotest clue.  I do hope that it is made into a movie, though!

Share a quote that was worth reading twice. Explain why:
Where do I begin?
Page 141: "Ignorance was just as dynamic as knowledge, and it grew in the same proportion.  Still, each generation of physicians imagined that ignorance was the special provenance of their elders."
Page 236: "I stood firm.  I didn't trust Hema's motivation: guilt leads to righteous action, but rarely is the the right action.  Besides, I had planned a special parade of my Dinky Toys in a weaving path I had carved out on a low embankment next to the house.  Her timing was terrible."  (this made me laugh out loud, and remember once when I wrote in my diary how upset I was that my own mother had thrown out some candy wrappers I had been saving.  Oh, the dramas of childhood...)
Page 332: "I knew what I'd say to him: You're much too late.  We went ahead with our lives without you."  (this one struck me for personal reasons)
Page 351: "In order to start to get rid of your slippers, you have to admit they are yours, and if you do, then they will get rid of themselves...I hope one day you see this as clearly as I did...The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, own the ones you don't.  If you keep saying your slippers aren't yours, then you'll die searching, you'll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more.  Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny."
Page 434: "My VIP patients often regret so many things on their deathbeds.  They regret the bitterness they'll leave in people's hearts.  They realize that no money, no church service, no eulogy, no funeral procession no matter how elaborate, can remove the legacy of a mean spirit."

Choose your rating:
 - Changed. My. Life.
          - I laughed, I cried, I want you to read it
- A definite page-turner
          - Good to check out but don't spend the cash.
          - Why did I waste my weekend on this?
          - A disgrace to paper everywhere

Flip to page 2, 22, or 202. Share the 7th sentence on the page. 
 "At that moment, though none of them quite realized it, Missing officially reopened for business."