Abraham Verghese was born and brought up by Indian parents in Ethiopia; he qualified as a doctor and became a professor of medicine. This book recounts the saga of identical twins, born of an English surgeon who flees the scene of their birth and a nun who dies as they are born, conjoined but separated at birth, who grow up two Indian step-parents in Missing (a mispronunciation of Mission) Hospital in Addis Ababa. They both become doctors. Shiva is the 'evil' twin who shags everything in sight including his brother (the narrator) Marion's girlfriend. Forced to flee Ethiopia shortly afterwards because of (mistaken) involvement in Tigrean separatist plot, Marion becomes a doctor in the US and belatedly has sex.
This should have been a riveting read. It was very interesting about Ethiopia under Haile Selassie and later the mad Mengistu. It showed the author's intimate understanding of surgery. There was a lot of action and there were sections in which I was engrossed. And then I stopped reading and never started again for ages. Twice. Which suggests it wasn't a massively exciting read.
December 2010; 541 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57