Thursday, March 24, 2011
Recommended Reading - Cutting For Stone
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is by far the best book I have read in over a year. The book has been in the press and has had many, many positive reviews on other sites so I will try not to go overboard with this post. If you want some in depth reviews you can check out amazon.com or bn.com.
I will tell you that this story was one that you will remember for a long time and you will want to reread it to make sure you didn't miss anything. I really appreciate something that is well written and you can tell that the author really spent time crafting his sentences and building his characters. If you read a lot of popular fiction you will immediately feel the difference that the author's well-styled prose makes when you read this. It gives the story depth and power and richness that other books just don't have. It makes you appreciate novels that are well thought out and well done.
I also enjoy literature that pushes social conventions. I love to be provoked, and I love when a book makes me want to have a conversation with my friends or family about themes that the author has developed. This book gave me lots of conversations.
Without going into too much detail, Cutting For Stone is about social taboos and what happens when they are broken, how people handle incredibly unique life circumstances and overcome, but, at least for me, it was mostly about love - love that both breaks your heart and saves your soul (I know really cliche but so be it). It dealt with so many intertwined and complex themes; are you your brother's keeper, the bonds between children and biological parents versus adoptive parents, can you overcome extreme loss, do you choose your life's work or does it choose you, can you control your own destiny, and cultural norms that are hurtful.
It reminded me of The Cider House Rules by John Irving, which is another one of my all time favorites. Both books deal with boys who have unfortunate births and are drawn into medicine in their new families. Interestingly, amazon.com had John Irving do a review (positive) for Cutting For Stone.
I know a book is phenomenal when I don't feel the need for a sequel. When the story was just so complete that I am perfectly satisfied at the end. When anything more would just cheapen or lessen the impact of the story. I find it is often that way with movies too. How much more meaningful or treasured would Rocky be if they just left it alone and never made a Rocky 2 and 3 and 4 oh and 5 and don't forget the classic Rocky 6 - you get my drift. Anyways, that is how I feel about this book, that when I was done reading I was completely perfectly charmed by it. It is such a compelling book, I hope you take the time to read Cutting for Stone.
Have you read any really great books this year? What is it about great novels that makes them great for you?
~ Gold Shoe Girl ~