Many extensive literary reviews have delved into the inner meanings of Abraham Verghese’s magnificent novel Cutting for Stone. For many, the title itself begs that question. I was so captivated by the writing style, the evolution of the plot and the introduction of the characters that Cutting for Stone drew me in and held me close for the sheer enjoyment of the story.
Dr. Thomas Stone fathers co-joined twins with a young assistant, Sister Mary Praise Joseph . Sister Mary dies in childbirth, he abandon’s them all and flees to America .The boys are raised by foster parents as their own. The stage is set for their incredible life journey.
The story begins in India, moves to Ethiopia and ends in New York City. Page by page you will find it impossible to abandon the twins . The players you will meet that pattern their lives are unforgettable. Verghese introduces nearly every human emotion as relationships unfold.
I have shared my enthusiasm for this novel with several friends and to the person they have thanked me profusely. You can take whatever inner meaning from Cutting for Stone that you wish. I can only promise pure pleasure.
Less sweeping in scope but every bit as compelling is another wonderful novel with plot similarity to Cutting For Stone. Luanne Rice’s What Matters Most is the story of Sister Bernadette Ignatius and Tom Kelly who conceived a son they were forced by church doctrine to leave behind in Ireland. Seamus Sullivan is raised in an orphanage and establishes a bond with a young girl that becomes the sought after love of his life.
Sister Bernadette Ignatius moves to America to become Mother Superior at the Star of the Sea Academy in Connecticut. Low and behold, Tom Kelly is the school’s caretaker! After years of their secret life, they begin the inevitable search for their abandoned son. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Seamus Sullivan , now a young man seeks the only person he has ever loved, Kathleen Murphy who was claimed from the orphanage when they were both children. As fate would have it she is a servant in a Newport, Rhode Island mansion. Now, put these circumstances together and let your imagination run as you turn to the Prologue of What Matters Most.
Thomas Stone’s sons discover their father in Cutting for Stone. In What Matters Most Sister Ignatius and Tom Kelly seek their son . Seamus begins his quest to find his beloved Kathleen. Two wonderful stories immersed in love, miracles and heartbreak.