`He was teaching me how to die, just as he'd taught me how to live.'
`A rich man's faults are covered with money, but a surgeon's faults are covered with earth'.
These two quotes are just 2 of the many apt quotes which abound in this novel. Books often polarise people's opinions and this book is no exception with many people criticising the amount of time devoted to the description of a whole variety of complex medical procedures. Of course, the book is written by a medical professional and most of the lead characters are surgeons and the storyline has a very strong medical base. Personally, I thought that the medical procedures were necessary, relevant and proportional to the story. Without any shadow of doubt this is one of the best books that I have read in years!
While much of the book is about a small hospital in Ethiopia, for me the novel was more about people, personalities and relationships and in particular how some people find forgiveness so difficult and the destructive consequences of this human failing. There is so much to enjoy with this book. It is a riveting read from beginning to end, although if I am brutally honest there was a brief moment two thirds of the way through when I felt that the story was losing its momentum. It would be a `spoiler' to give the reason for this but suffice to say that the story soon regained its former glory and the final quarter was both moving and fulfilling.
This is a beautiful story and it is very well told. There were times when I confess that it brought tears to my eyes. It is undoubtedly a book that I will want to re-read.