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#91750 - 11/27/12 08:12 AM December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1892
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone is the story of twin brothers of unlikely parentage growing up in an Ethiopia on the brink of revolution. The boys' mutual interest in medicine -- both a natural inclination and the result of having been raised by hospital staff -- drives this saga of love, betrayal, and medical salvation.

On Verghese's official website, you can read the first chapter of the novel, read reviews and interviews, and view the book trailer. (Am I the only one who is weirded out by the idea of a book trailer?)

Discussion begins on December 15. Happy reading!

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#91762 - 12/01/12 12:17 AM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
UCLAgirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Los Angeles

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I've read My Own Country and The Tennis Partner, but have not yet read Cutting For Stone. I like Verghese's writing, so I'll have to get this one.
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#91763 - 12/01/12 11:43 AM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: UCLAgirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1892
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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I once recommended it to a friend while we were browsing in an airport bookstore. She bought it, but then I worried through the entire flight that she would hate it and be stuck with nothing else to read. When we landed, she said, "I LOVE IT! I don't want to put it down."
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#91773 - 12/08/12 10:02 AM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1892
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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*bump* One week until discussion day!
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#91786 - 12/15/12 11:14 AM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
LaSalleUGirl Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 1892
Loc: Philadelphia, PA, USA

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Happy discussion day! I really loved Cutting for Stone. I read it for my RL book club, and I could not put it down. From the very beginning with the disturbing undertones of what had happened to Sister Mary Joseph Praise before she arrived at Missing, I was hooked. I often think that the mark of a really good book is that I'm as invested in the secondary and tertiary characters as in the primary ones, and that is certainly true here. Hema and Ghosh are fascinating and hilarious and awesome; their relationship with each other and the various permutations of their interactions with Marion and Shiva were so compelling to watch unfold.

I also thought that Verghese's argument about inner-city American hospitals was really interesting, and something I had never given much thought to before.


What did you all think?

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#91788 - 12/18/12 09:19 AM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: LaSalleUGirl]
TraceyB
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 1483
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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I really enjoyed this book. I was so invested in the characters, and, since my knowledge of Ethiopian history is practically nil, I was happy to learn more.

LSUG, I was also intrigued by the discussion of inner-city US hospitals. Since there's been so much talk in the media about the problems of health care, this was another aspect for me to think about.

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#91789 - 12/18/12 01:43 PM Re: December 2012 Selection: Cutting for Stone [Re: TraceyB]
CaitlinM2



Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 446
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area

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I also really enjoyed this, and like both of you, found myself very invested in the characters. The evocation of Ethiopia in the late '70s, with the attempted overthrow of Haile Selassie and the civil war with Eritrea, was very interesting to me. That part of it takes place in the same period as Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly, but the perspective is very different because here, we are in the middle of it.

Verghese did a terrific job with characters, in that even the minor ones are fully developed and you have a real sense of who all the people who live and work at the hospital are. At the same time, Thomas Stone is almost as much an enigma to the reader as he is to Marion before we meet him again later in the book, and this is very effective - I was left wondering what happened to him after he fled.

The discussion of inner-city American hospitals makes me think of a documentary that came out this year, The Waiting Room, about a day in the life of the emergency department of Highland Hospital, the county hospital in Oakland, my hometown. Definitely an eye-opener about the state of urban health care in the US for the under- and uninsured.

Finally, this passage near the beginning of the book resonated very strongly with me, because I think it describes so accurately the experience of my ex, who ultimately stopped practicing psychiatry because it subsumed him in an unhealthy way:

 Quote:
Few doctors will admit this, certainly not young ones, but subconsciously, in entering the profession, we must believe that ministering to others will heal our woundedness. And it can. But it can also deepen the wound.

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