I read to escape and to learn. I like science fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and adventure stories.
When I started this book I had no idea that it would end up being my favourite book of the year. It was so unexpectedly moving and brilliant that I am still shocked it's over. Abraham Verghese writes the kind of story that makes you a part of his world. A hospital
compound in Ethiopia inhabited by an eclectic but warm cast of characters who form a tight knit family and who experience all sorts of upheaval from failed political coup attempts to extreme medical emergencies.
I found the amount of medical detail quite fascinating but I imagine not everyone would. It does create very vivid pictures and sometimes uncomfortable reactions while reading but for me, it made sense, as every main character in the book is a physician. The story took me to the very edge of life and death, love and suffering and then left me in a place of peace. A really wonderful reading experience.
Reviewed August 2009