Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Cutting for Stone is the multi-layered story of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva, born to Sister Mary Joseph Praise who dies during delivery while stationed in Ethiopia in the late 50’s. The twins conjoined and separated at birth were adopted by two doctors, Dr. Kalpana Hemlatha, a forceful woman known as Hema, and Dr. Abhi Ghosh, both working at Missing Hospital, the hospital where their parents lived and worked.
“They grow up amid the political turmoil of Ethiopia (its actual chronology altered slightly by Verghese to suit his fictional purposes), and in 1979 Marion flees, first to Nairobi and finally to New York, where he qualifies as a surgeon. Shiva, too, goes into medicine, specializing in treating vaginal fistula, for which work he is acclaimed in this very newspaper (New York Times), a sure sign of his renown. Almost supernaturally close as children, the brothers become more and more distant as the novel progresses; they are dramatically reunited at its end — through the mysterious agency of the long-vanished Thomas Stone.” an excerpt from a New York Times book review