Cutting for Stone is the one of the best novels I have ever read, and I am recommending it to you. The characters and the settings are beautifully developed and the prose is poetic. Don’t expect to read this one in a couple of days. It took me almost two weeks, and I didn’t want it to end.
Much of the story takes place in the operating rooms of India, Ethiopia, and the United States ghetto. None of which I have any experience or original interest. Yet, the story is internally captivating and grabbed hold of my core by page 3.
Cutting for Stone is a tale of the human condition of suffering, the illusion of perception, and ultimate forgiveness. To see through someone’s life the intricate tapestry of circumstances and experiences woven together demonstrates how truly “this is because of that.” And in the whole, there is no beginning or end. Our life is One. Our lives are One. And to answer the age old question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “Why of course,” because we are One in the same.
Just like me and you, each character uses the relationships in their lives to work through fear. And through each death, we witness the birth of compassion and forgiveness.
Cutting for Stone is a power tool to cultivate the soil of the mind and to open one’s eyes to the perceptions of illusion that cause suffering in our lives. The title is brilliant and I am still manifesting all the meaning it holds for my life.
I pray to keep my oath and not cut for stone. To understand this journey called life is not about searching for greatness, but to recognize greatness in All. May I recognize the miracle in the sight of morning and in all I am.
“We come unbidden into this life, and if we are lucky we find a purpose beyond starvation, misery, and early death which, lest we forget, is the common lot…you are an instrument of God. Don’t leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for ‘Three Blind Mice’ when you can play the ‘Gloria’?” ~ Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese