A masterly debut novel, visceral in its power, heartbreaking in its tenderness. Transporting the reader from the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, Cutting for Stone is a thrilling epic of conjoined twins, doctors and patients, temptation and redemption, home and exile--and a riveting family story, irresistibly charged with strange happenings, humour and pathos, that grabs you from its harrowing opening and never lets go.
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin sons of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon at 'Missing' 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 brothers 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 tears them apart and forces Marion to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as a surgical intern at an underfunded, overcrowded hospital.When the past catches up with him, Marion must trust 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. Cutting for Stone is both an unforgettable story of lives cut in half and a gripping evocation of the power, intimacy, danger and curious beauty of the ancient art that is at its heart.