Author: Abraham Verghese
Publisher: Random House India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788184000597
Marion and Shiva Stone are born from the unexpected union of Sister Mary Joseph, a gentle Malayali nurse, and Thomas Stone, a brilliant, intense British surgeon. It is a union so mysterious that no one at the Missing hospital in Addis Ababa, where the two worked in tandem - not even Thomas - can quite fathom how Sister Mary is with child. The traumatic events that follow leave the boys orphaned and they are raised by two Indian doctors at Missing.
Marion and Shiva grow up in a world of medicine, learning the curiosities of sinew and muscle, of the astonishing working of the human body. Outside the hospital, the politics of Ethiopia rages and in the midst of this, the twins have a falling out; it is a conflict so bitter that it leads Marion to flee Ethiopia. Marion makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at a Bronx hospital. But when the past catches up with him nearly destroying him Marion must trust his life to the two men he never thought he would see again: the brother who betrayed him and the surgeon father who abandoned him.
Moving from the 1940s to the present day, cutting for Stone in vast, dramatic and unforgettable. No contemporary novelist has written as superbly about the human body, or as movingly about the world of medicine and its connection to love and loss. It is a magnificent achievement.
‘A tremendous accomplishment. The writing is vivid and thrilling, and the story completely absorbing, with its pregnant Indian nun, demon-ridden British surgeon, Siamese twins orphaned and severed at birth, and narrative strands stretching across four continents. A tale this wild is perilous, but there is mot a false step anywhere’.
- ATUL GAWANDE