Friday, July 13, 2012

Cutting for Stone - Discussion 1

Wow.  This book had me worried for a bit, then it sucked me right in! Hope you are all doing well with this mighty loooong book! ;)

"God will judge us, Mr. Harris, by "- her voice broke as she thought of Sister Mary Joseph Praise- "by what we did to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings.  I don't think God cares what doctrine we embrace." (pg. 188)

Matron is my kind of chick! ;)

"The sight of that plain, weathered face pressed against the glass, the wet cheeks, the interlocking fingers... it was for Harris more powerful than anything she had said.  Here was a woman who could give up the restrictions of her order when it stood in the way.  From her lips had come the kind of fundamental truth which, because of its simplicity, was unspoken in a church like Harris's where internecine squabbling seemed to be the purpose for the committee's existence, as well as a manifestation of faith.  It was a small blessing that an ocean separated the doers like Matron from their patrons, because if they rubbed shoulders they'd make each other very uncomfortable. (pg. 188)

I enjoyed this passage thoroughly.  Matron is my kind of people.

1. What are your opinions on the various doctors so far? Favorite? Least favorite? Thoughts on them?

2. There are a number of dramatic scenes on operating tables in Cutting for Stone: the twins' births, Thomas Stone amputating his own finger, and Ghosh untwisting Colonel Mebratu's volvulus,, etc. How does Verghese use medical detail to create tension and surprise? What do his depictions of dramatic surgeries share with film and television hospital dramas—and yet how are they different?

3. Almost all of the characters in Cutting for Stone are living in some sort of exile, self-imposed or forced, from their home country. Verghese is of Indian descent but was born and raised in Ethiopia, went to medical school in India, and has lived and worked in the United States for many years. What do you think this novel says about exile and the immigrant experience? How does exile change these characters, and what do they find themselves missing the most about home?

4. What does Cutting for Stone reveal about the emotional lives of doctors?

5. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that's funny or poignant...or encapsulates a character? Maybe comments that state the book's thematic concerns?

How is everyone doing with it? Hopefully, enjoying it! I will be putting the suggestion post up next week for August's read, so start thinking of ideas!  Thanks for participating and the last discussion will be on the 27th!

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