“It was as if nothing I’d ever done in my life prior to this counted.”

vergheseThe wonderful thing about 600-page sagas is, in my view, the opportunity to develop a wide perspective. Readers get to see the consequences of decisions as they play out over the span of decades. Sometimes characters come to see things differently, and sometimes readers do, too. Moments of reconsideration can be very powerful, and this first novel by a professor of medicine at Stanford, who also has an MFA from Iowa, has a series of them that extend to the final pages. While reviewers draw comparison to Charles Dickens and Anne Tyler, I think James Michener is more apt.

Abraham Verchese, Cutting for Stone (New York: Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., 2009), 464.

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