“God will judge us, Mr. Harris, by–by what we did to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings. I don’t think God cares what doctrine we embrace.”
— Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Such an insightful comment, words that struck me more deeply than many I’ve read in years. This insight, written in the voice of a missionary nun in the novel Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. It is an excellent novel thus far, praise usually reserved by me when I’m half way into a book.
Interesting how I came upon this book: skulking around one of my least favorite stores, a Hallmark card shop that carries scented candles, loads of Vera Bradley junk and an expensive card for every occasion. It was coming up on my youngest son’s birthday and se needed an enormous bow for his present. This store also has a large selection of paperback books. Most of them are chick-lit, Twighight and teen vampire knock-offs–not a huge variety of substance but I can never resist the draw of new books and before I knew it, I had spent 45 minutes in the shelves. I found Brooklynby Colm Toibin which I bought because I loved The Master so much.
As I was making my way to the check out, the manager, an enthusiastic gentleman unloading a box of books saw my book choice and immediately asked me why I picked it. Within seconds I realized I had met one of the most interesting and interested readers I’ve ever come across. Our conversation was brief but very lively and I picked up Cutting For Stone on his strong recommendation. Of note, he was somewhat tepid in his comments about Brooklyn and his best compliment was “It really gives you the sense of the time is was written.” True, very true. I was not as kind in my review.