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Cutting for Stone


Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - Book Club Discussion Summary

Date: January 21, 2022

Discussion Leaders: Don Elder, Lisa Walters

Author Background

Abraham Verghese, a physician and Stanford University professor, has seen "Cutting for Stone" remain on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. His other works are primarily memoirs, drawing extensively from his medical background.

Discussion Highlights

  • The detailed medical procedures in the book divided opinion among the group. Some found these descriptions vivid and effective, enhancing the narrative, while others considered them tedious, suggesting the book could be shorter.

  • The love story between Hema and Ghosh was highlighted as a particularly engaging aspect of the book, alongside the portrayal of Ghosh and Marion as compassionate physicians who truly listen to their patients.

  • Discussion on the book's title revealed its deep connection to the Hippocratic Oath and the surname of the main characters, all of whom are surgeons, adding layers of meaning to their professional and personal identities.

  • The setting in Ethiopia and themes of identity, especially regarding one's birth country versus adopted country, were found to be compelling. The book provided educational insights into Ethiopian history for many readers.

  • Despite initial hesitations, the unique nature of the book made it a memorable read for most members, distinguishing it from other books they've read.

This summary encapsulates the varied perspectives and insights shared during the Friends of the Palm Springs Library Book Club discussion, offering a multifaceted view of "Cutting for Stone" that might resonate with a wide readership.