I have never been to Ethiopia, but such was the writing I felt that I was there. Verghese makes the characters in his book come completely alive, and you begin to really care about them. It is the tale of twins, born in unusual circumstances, not least because their mother is a nun. Their subsequent childhood, in which they are raised within a very loving family by Hema and Ghosh, not their natural parents, sets the scene for all that is to come. Marion falls in love with a childhood friend, as good as a sister, but is ultimately betrayed by the two people he least expected. The betrayal has deep ramifications that ring out through the rest of time. This is an extremely moving novel, and I was not surprised to learn that the author is himself a surgeon, as he gives some fairly detailed accounts of various operations that take place. Needless to say, all the key characters in this book are surgeons or become surgeons. The skilled writing made me feel very involved in these medical procedures, and it was a genuinely fascinating journey into an area I have never read about in any detail. All I can say, is this book was an incredibly moving one, well-written and stays with you long after you have turned the last page.