Study Guide

Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone Summary

An Indian nun and an English doctor have conjoined twin babies in Ethiopia. (Yeah, you read that right: a nun and doctor had a kid.) The mother, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, dies in childbirth, and the father, Dr. Thomas Stone, flees the scene. The babies, Marion and Shiva Stone, are raised by Hema and Ghosh, the doctors at the hospital, and grow up to be doctors themselves.

After they're un-conjoined, that is.

Their childhood is shared with their friend Genet, the maid's daughter, with whom Marion falls in love. Can't resist the girl-next-door thing, we guess. Marion wants to have sex with Genet, but he wants to wait until they're married. Well, Genet can't wait, so she does it with Marion's twin brother, Shiva. Six of one, half-dozen of the other, right?

Wrong. The betrayal ruins all of the relationships.

So Marion goes to medical school, Shiva works as a doctor without formal training, and Genet becomes a revolutionary. She gets Marion into trouble, and he has to leave the country. He goes to New York and finishes up his education there, finally becoming a surgeon.

In the U.S., Marion meets Dr. Thomas Stone for the first time, who is himself a world-famous liver transplant doctor. He also runs into Genet, who comes to his house sicker than a dog and asking for his forgiveness. Marion finally has sex with Genet, after wanting to for many years, but it's obviously very unpleasant for her: she's totally sick, and she bleeds and urinates during the whole painful ordeal.

Genet disappears again, and Marion gets really sick. It turns out that he's caught hepatitis B from Genet, who had been in jail. He's taken to the hospital and slips into a coma. Dr. Stone sends for Hema and Shiva, who come to take care of Marion.

Shiva volunteers to give part of his liver to his brother in an experimental surgery. They go through with it and everything goes without a hitch. Unfortunately, some of the medicine that Shiva takes causes a clot in his head—probably in the spot where he and Marion were joined in the womb—to come loose, and it kills him.

Marion goes back to Ethiopia with Hema and lives there for the rest of his life, practicing medicine and building up the hospital where he grew up.

  • Prologue: The Coming

    • Marion Stone and his twin brother, Shiva, are born on September 20, 1954 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to a nun named Sister Mary Joseph Praise. Later, Marion will look at his mother's painting of St. Teresa in the operating room where he was born—and where his mother used to work as a nurse.
    • Fifty years later, Marion Stone returns to the operating theatre in Ethiopia and explains that he's going to tell his life story.
    • Young Marion tells Matron, a woman he grew up with, that he wants to be a surgeon when he grows up—and he does just that. One day, he wants to operate on a critical patient, and his father, also Dr. Stone, tells him that the eleventh commandment is not to operate on the day of a patient's death. Say what? Yeah, it's short for this: "He's going to die anyway."
  • Part 1, Chapter 1: The Typhoid State Revisited

    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise comes to Missing Hospital (the local pronunciation of "Mission Hospital") in Ethiopia from India seven years before the birth of her twin sons.
    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise and her friend Sister Anjali board a ship in 1948 and head across the Indian Ocean toward the British colony of Aden along with a Dr. Stone, who promptly gets a fever.
    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise nurses Dr. Stone back to health, and they work together to try to save Sister Anjali, who's also sick.
    • They fail. Sister Anjali dies.
    • Stone asks Sister Mary Joseph Praise to come to Ethiopia, but she's committed to her mission in Aden and says no.
    • It turns out that the nun Sister Mary Joseph Praise was supposed to work with has died, and she has nothing to do in Aden anymore.
    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise turns up in Ethiopia after having experienced some trauma in Aden, probably rape, and Matron takes her in.
    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise takes a spot as Dr. Stone's nurse, and they make an amazing team.
  • Chapter 2: The Missing Finger

    • The day that Marion and Shiva are born, Dr. Stone asks the probationer, a young nurse-in-training, to go find Sister Mary Joseph Praise, who hasn't shown up for work.
    • Dr. Stone says to remind Sister Mary Joseph Praise that he went back to work after amputating his own finger. Yes, you read that right.
    • The probationer runs off to find Sister Mary Joseph Praise and relays the message, but the nun doesn't answer her. The probationer leaves her and goes to class.
    • That afternoon, Stone goes to the nurses' dorms to find Sister Mary Joseph Praise, and he sees that she's in terrible shape. Okay, actually, the scoop is that she's totally having a baby… which is not usually expected from a nun.
    • Stone loses control and acts helpless while Matron tries to deliver the baby. Finally, she realizes that Sister Mary Joseph Praise needs a C-section, and she turns over the patient to Dr. Stone.
  • Chapter 3: The Gate of Tears

    • Dr. Kaplana Hemlatha, a.k.a. Hema, the actual ob/gyn at Missing, is out of town, flying above the Horn of Africa, while Sister Mary Joseph Praise is in labor.
    • Hema's returning to Ethiopia from a holiday in her home country of India, and she's thinking about Dr. Ghosh, a fellow doctor at Missing who has a crush on her.
    • Hema's plane begins to dive unexpectedly, and a little boy falls on Hema, breaking his leg. In what could be her final moments, she realizes she wishes she'd had a child.
  • Chapter 4: The Five-F Rule

    • Back at Missing, Dr. Stone throws up at the prospect of having to operate on his dear nurse, Sister Mary Joseph Praise. Then he sits down on the stool between her legs and sees the baby's head trying to make its way out.
    • Dr. Stone wants to get the baby out of Sister Mary Joseph Praise because she is losing so much blood. He decides to smash the baby's skull, the better to yank it out of the birth canal. Yikes.
    • The baby, Shiva, is about to be speared in the head by Dr. Stone. Marion, his twin brother further up in the uterus, pulls Shiva back in to safety. Yes, you read that right. It's getting real in here.
    • Dr. Stone stays after his dirty work, and Matron knows that it's a terrible idea.
  • Chapter 5: Last Moments

    • Back to Hema.
    • The plane barely lands, and the pilot announces that he had to fake an emergency to get clearance to land so that he could pick up some baggage.
    • Hema is enraged by the pilot's recklessness and grabs his testicles, hard, to teach him a lesson. She also diagnoses him with syphilis. Don't mess with her.
    • Hema forces the pilot to pay the family of the child with the broken leg.
  • Chapter 6: My Abyssinia

    • On her next flight, Hema runs into an acquaintance who is the father of many, many children, some of whom Hema herself has delivered.
    • The plane lands in Addis Ababa, and Hema heads back to Missing.
    • Gebrew, the watchman/priest of Missing, greets Hema with the news that Sister Mary Joseph Praise's baby is stuck.
  • Chapter 7: Fetor Terribilis

    • Hema bursts into the operating theatre and smells death.
    • Sister Mary Joseph Praise hallucinates about St. Teresa and begins reciting a psalm in Latin.
    • Hema takes charge of the chaos in the operating room, and Matron faints.
  • Chapter 8: Missing People

    • Matron is revived and prays for Sister Mary Joseph Praise.
    • The sun shines through the window of the operating room and lights up Sister Mary Joseph Praise's uterus, which is now sticking out of her C-section cut.
  • Chapter 9: Where Duty Lies

    • Hema realizes that the twin babies in Sister Mary Joseph Praise's uterus are joined at the head.
    • Hema cuts the stalk joining them and hands off the babies before turning back to her work of saving their mother.
  • Chapter 10: Dance of Shiva

    • The probationer, or nurse-in-training, takes the twins and, assuming they are dead, leaves them in a basin.
    • Luckily, the sun shines on the babies and begins to warm them up and bring them to life.
    • Hema operates on the mother, but it's no use: Sister Mary Joseph Praise dies.
    • The firstborn baby—the one who didn't get stabbed in the head by Dr. Stone—starts crying, letting everyone know that he's alive. Hema starts working on the unbreathing baby while Matron wraps up the crier.
    • Dr. Stone, the babies' father, slits open Sister's chest, trying to revive her heart with his hand, squeezing it. Wait, does that actually work?
    • Gebrew walks in with food for Hema and sees the horrific scene. He starts praying.
    • Stone is defeated, and he rejects the idea that the babies are a miracle in exchange for Sister Mary Joseph Praise's life. Hema asks him what they should name the babies, and he says to get them out of his sight.
    • Stone runs away, and Hema takes the babies as her own miracle.
    • Hema names the first twin Marion, after the father of obstetrics and gynecology, Marion Sims. She names the second one Shiva, after the god Shiva.
  • Part 2, Chapter 11: Bedside Language and Bedroom Language

    • While every other Missing doctor is locked in a crazy battle for Sister Mary Joseph Praise's life, Dr. Abhi Ghosh is on his day off and completely oblivious.
    • Ghosh thinks about Hema, whom he adores, and wonders whether she'll come back from her trip to India married.
    • Ghosh goes to get a vitamin B12 shot for some burning he's experiencing when he urinates (ouch) and does some rounds in the hospital before he leaves.
    • Ghosh goes to get a haircut and then visits a prostitute. Um, so, about that burning urination…
    • Afterward, Ghosh heads back to Missing and finds out about the death, the births, and Stone's disappearance.
  • Chapter 12: Land's End

    • The next day, Matron goes back to work, running the hospital.
    • The emperor's minister calls Matron to give his sympathy for Missing's loss. He also mentions that if a wounded military officer were to come to Missing, he would like to know personally.
    • The phone rings again, this time a funder from the Texan, Eli Harris, saying he'd like to drop in as he's passing through town. Wut?
    • Matron decides to bury Sister Mary Joseph Praise in the backyard of the hospital.
  • Chapter 13: Praise in the Arms of Jesus

    • Ghosh hires some men to dig the grave, and then he's summoned to take care of—you guessed it—a military officer.
    • Hema refuses to operate, because she's "just had twins," so Ghosh, who's not a surgeon, goes for it and tries to save the officer.
    • Somehow, Ghosh gets through it, and he wins the friendship of the officer.
    • Everybody gathers to bury Sister Mary Joseph Praise.
  • Chapter 14: Knowledge of the Redeemer

    • It turns out that Colonel Mebratu, the guy Ghosh operated on, was in town to plot a coup against the emperor.
    • Yeah, so that's why the emperor was so interested in knowing if any military officers showed up for treatment at Missing.
    • Ghosh is surprised to feel sympathy for Mebratu's cause.
    • Eli Harris, the rich Baptist from Texas, comes to visit Matron unexpectedly, and she explains that she's in quite a mess with one nurse dead, one surgeon missing, and another doctor taking maternity leave.
  • Chapter 15: Crookedness of the Serpent

    • Almaz, Ghosh's maid, alerts him that one of the babies has stopped breathing, and he runs to Hema's bungalow, where the babies live.
    • Shiva has been having trouble breathing while he sleeps. He has to be woken up and reminded to breathe, which is pretty stressful for Hema.
    • Ghosh devises a plan: he puts bells on the baby's foot to let them know when there's a problem, since the bell will stop moving if Shiva stops breathing.
    • Hema and Ghosh settle into a little family life as they keep watch over Shiva for several weeks.
    • Ghosh has to take over almost all medical duties, since both Stone and Hema are out of commission.
  • Chapter 16: Bride for a Year

    • One day, while Ghosh is operating, he's called to an emergency by Hema.
    • It turns out that Ghosh is supposed to participate in a naming ceremony for the boys.
    • Ghosh goes to the ceremony and then heads back to work.
    • Ghosh tells Hema that he had an offer to move to the United States but that he had passed it up to be with her. Then they have sex.
    • Mhm.
    • The next morning, Ghosh asks Hema to marry him, and she agrees to marry him for one year, with a renewable contract.
    • Whatever works, we guess.
  • Part 3, Chapter 17: "Tizita"

    • Marion, the baby, grabs his nanny's breast while Shiva, his twin, sends him psychic messages to put it to his mouth. The twins seem to share experiences.
    • Almaz, the nanny, sings the Ethiopian song "Tizita" to the boys, and Marion will continue to hear the song wherever he goes, wherever there are Ethiopians.
  • Chapter 18: Sins of the Father

    • The twins, Shiva and Marion, grow up happy boys in the Missing Hospital.
    • There's one catch, though: Shiva won't talk. He lets Marion do it for him.
    • One day, when the boys are eight, Hema decides they are not getting good enough training at school, and she starts forcing them to do more work at home.
    • Marion protests and gets in trouble. He hides out in the operating room where he was born and where his mother died.
    • When Marion goes back home to face his punishment, he finds Shiva, Genet (the maid Rosina's daughter), and Hema dancing. He calls Shiva a traitor.
  • Chapter 19: Giving Dogs Their Due

    • In 1963, the boys are driving with Ghosh into town and are made to pull over because the emperor's motorcade is coming through.
    • An old woman calls the emperor a thief and throws a shoe at his Rolls Royce; his guards beat her brutally.
    • Back at Missing, the dog Koochooloo has puppies, but Matron has ordered them to be killed because the hospital can't afford to keep them.
    • The boys get home and see that Gebrew and a taxi driver have devised a hideous plan to kill the pups by putting them in a bag and tying it to an exhaust pipe so that they'll suffocate. Koochooloo, their mother, goes nuts trying to save her babies.
    • The boys freak out, but Hema says that Koochooloo will forget the babies.
    • Shiva breaks his long silence to ask Hema if she would forget it someone killed Marion or him.
    • Now that Shiva speaks, he and Marion are no longer one unit; they're beginning to have their own identities.
  • Chapter 20: Blind Man's Buff

    • During summer vacation, it rains like crazy, which bums out Marion.
    • Genet wants to play "blind man's buff," so she and the boys pass the time that way.
    • Marion has a special power of scent, and he can always find Genet in a heartbeat. This infuriates her.
    • One night, Ghosh and Hema have to leave to help the princess deliver her baby.
    • Alone in the house, Genet leads Marion on a new version of blind man's buff, which involves him finding her naked in the pantry and kissing her.
    • Rosina, Genet's mother, catches Genet and Marion and yells at them. Genet defends herself by saying that Rosina isn't married to Genet's father, Sergeant Zemui, so Genet can do what she wants, too.
  • Chapter 21: Knowing What You Will Hear

    • Zemui, Genet's father, is Colonel Mebratu's driver. When Mebratu comes to hang out with Ghosh, Zemui hangs out with Rosina.
    • Since Rosina is blocking Genet and Marion from hanging out after their pantry episode, Marion starts following Ghosh on his hospital rounds and learning about medicine.
  • Chapter 22: The School of Suffering

    • One day, Marion and Shiva help some parents carry their dying child to the hospital.
    • Sorry. The kid dies.
    • Marion starts drawing the suffering he sees.
    • Another day, a twelve-year-old girl comes limping in with her father, smelling awfully of sickness. Shiva seems to understand what's going on with her, and Marion says her illness will play a part in Shiva's future.
  • Chapter 23: The Afterbird and Other Animals

    • One day, Hema announces that the boys will stay home from school because of trouble in the city.
    • It turns out that Ghosh's friend Mebratu (now a general) has engineered a coup, arresting ministers loyal to the emperor. (This is loosely based on reality.)
    • Rosina leaves Genet and goes to find Zemui, whom she hasn't seen in a week.
    • Since the boys can't go to school, Hema says they can go with her to the Version Clinic, which is something she's never allowed them to do before.
    • The pregnant women at the clinic spoil Shiva and Marion rotten while they wait for Hema to come and flip their unborn babies into proper birthing position.
    • Shiva is very interested in the whole sex-and-pregnancy situation, but Hema shoos him away without answering his questions.
  • Chapter 24: Loving the Dying

    • Jets begin bombing the countryside, and the Missing folks have to take cover.
    • Rosina comes home, luckily, and reports that the emperor is striking back against the coup-makers, big time.
    • Matron tells everyone about how John Melly, a man she loved, was killed in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936.
  • Chapter 25: Anger as a Form of Love

    • The next day, the coup fails, though General Mebratu, his brother, and Zemui are still alive. There's a hunt on for them.
    • Rosina finds out that Zemui has been gunned down: General Mebratu's brother shot him in the face before killing himself. It turns out that Mebratu has survived the attempted coup and is in a coma at the hospital.
    • Ghosh takes the boys to school. A mob attacks their car, but they make it through.
    • While they're at school, Ghosh is arrested, and no one knows where he's taken. Hema drinks water and gets sick: turns out the rebels have poisoned the water supply.
  • Chapter 26: The Face of Suffering

    • The boys find out that Ghosh is gone when they get home from school and find Hema sick. It turns out that the water poisoning was just a rumor, and quick as a whistle, Hema is "cured."
    • Everyone gets in the car to go to the prison to try to get information about Ghosh.
    • A prison guard passes a secret message to Matron saying that Ghosh is alive and that they can bring him a blanket, money, and a dish of food for him the next morning. They do so, but they leave the boys at home with Rosina and Genet.
    • A man comes to the house asking for Zemui's motorcycle. He beats Rosina and Genet, but then has a hard time starting the bike.
    • Shiva and Marion trick him, telling him to ride it as fast as possible down the hill. Dude crashes over a wall, and when Marion goes to check on him, he accidentally shoots him while trying to pull his gun out of his belly, where it was lodged.
    • Dude is totally dead.
    • Rosina tells the children to carry the dead man up to an area of the yard that is full of quicksand, and, well, the body disappears.
    • Rosina tells the children they can't tell anyone what just happened.
  • Chapter 27: Answering Medicine

    • Life continues at Missing while everyone waits for Ghosh to come home.
    • Really, that's pretty much it.
  • Chapter 28: The Good Doctor

    • Marion decides to pray to his biological mother, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, and her print of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa, asking for some help with Ghosh's situation.
    • It works. Ghosh gets out safe and sound.
    • General Mebratu is hanged.
  • Chapter 29: Abu Kassem's Slippers

    • The hospital staff throws a party for Ghosh's homecoming, and an officer comes looking for his brother, who it turns out was the one who tried to take Zemui's motorcycle.
    • Everyone is terrified that the officer will find the body, but nothing happens: they get away with the murder. Marion is so upset he pukes afterward.
    • Hema and Ghosh discuss leaving Ethiopia because it has become so dangerous.
    • Genet climbs into bed on top of Marion and asks him whether he's confessed the murder to Ghosh. She pees on him so that he won't forget his promise to keep the secret—which is an unusual tactic, if you ask us.
    • Ghosh comes to find out what the fuss is about, and Marion pretends that he's had an accident.
  • Chapter 30: Word for Words

    • Rosina won't let Genet out of the house, because they are in mourning for Zemui, Genet's father.
    • Rosina holds a ceremony and cuts lines into Genet's face, a tradition of Zemui's tribe. Hema is outraged.
    • Rosina is super depressed, so Hema decides to "kidnap" Genet and get her away from the sadness of her mother's home.
    • The family goes out for ice cream, and Marion kicks Genet hard under the table as payback for peeing on him. They're even, and he realizes he's in love with her.
    • That's how you know it's true love, folks.
    • Genet starts sleeping in the house with Hema and Ghosh instead of in her mother's cottage.
    • Shiva shows off his genius at school, but that doesn't mean he's a good student: he's smart, but he doesn't really do homework. He starts hanging out with Hema at the Version Clinic, while Marion shadows Ghosh in the operating room and casualty ward.
    • Genet begins to say how much she hates the emperor, which isn't exactly smart in the current political climate.
    • Rosina takes Genet on a trip to her home region. Hema is concerned that they'll never come back, but Genet promises to come home.
    • A woman named Tsige, who works as a prostitute, brings her coughing baby to Missing, and Marion takes her to the croup room. Ghosh comes by and sees that there isn't much hope, but treats the baby with oxygen.
    • Marion stays with Tsige as her baby dies. He comforts her.
    • Ghosh teaches a doctor how to do a vasectomy so that he can later do one for him; Marion assists.
  • Chapter 31: The Dominion of the Flesh

    • Marion misses Genet and tries to fill up his time by wandering around the hospital. He wanders right into a room where a woman is dancing to rock and roll, the first time he's heard such music.
    • The woman pulls Marion in and starts dancing with him. They kiss.
    • The woman asks Marion's forgiveness for letting his mother die: turns out she's the probationer, the nurse-in-training that didn't react very well to Sister Mary Joseph Praise's complicated labor. Marion realizes they're in his mother's old room.
    • To get the probationer to stop crying, Marion forgives her.
    • The probationer offers her body to Marion, but he says he'd rather wait until another day. He wants to have sex with her, but he wants to only want to have sex with Genet, his true love. Is that complicated, or what?
  • Chapter 32: A Time to Sow

    • Genet and Rosina come back, Genet looking and acting all grown up.
    • Marion tells Genet about the visit with the probationer, and he tells her that he waited because he wanted his first time to be with her. She holds his face in her hands, but Rosina catches them and interrupts them.
    • Marion hears the song he heard in the probationer's room on the radio, and everyone starts dancing to rock and roll on a regular basis.
    • The family goes to a party, and Shiva dances with everybody. Marion goes home early.
  • Chapter 33: A Form of Madness

    • Tsige, years after her baby's death, says hello to Marion. He introduces her to Shiva.
    • Tsige invites Marion into her bar, but he says no.
    • Shiva says that Marion should have gone so that he could sleep with Tsige.
    • After the boys turn sixteen, the probationer makes a strange comment to Shiva, thanking him for last night.
    • Marion yells at his brother for having slept with the probationer. Shiva admits that he's been going to the Piazza to visit prostitutes for months.
    • Marion asks Shiva not to go back to the probationer.
    • Meanwhile, Genet hits puberty, too, and is feeling frisky.
    • Marion tells Genet that he wants to marry her and go on a honeymoon in India. She says she's not sure she can wait until they marry to have sex.
    • Marion and Genet play doctor until Rosina bursts in and interrupts them.
  • Chapter 34: A Time to Reap

    • Marion studies for a big exam in order to get into medical school, but Shiva isn't worried about school: he wants to drop out.
    • Genet asks Shiva to tell her about his sexual conquests, which is distracting for Marion.
    • Marion leaves and goes for a walk. When he comes back, Rosina attacks him, but he doesn't know why.
    • Finally, Rosina explains: Genet has lost her virginity, and Rosina is sure that it was Marion that she slept with.
    • Marion is absolutely brokenhearted. He knows it was Shiva Genet slept with.
    • Rosina performs another ceremony on Genet, this time female circumcision. Hema is infuriated and tries to save Genet from the infection that results from the awful procedure.
    • Marion stays with Genet until she finally gets better, and everyone thinks that he's the one who brought all this upon her by sleeping with her.
    • Marion and Shiva quit speaking and no longer share a room.
    • Rosina hangs herself, probably out of guilt for having almost killed her daughter with the circumcision.
  • Chapter 35: One Fever from Another

    • Genet and Marion go to medical school.
    • Genet doesn't really excel after her mother's death.
    • Ghosh publishes a paper in an important medical journal, naming a symptom after the pharmacist, Adam, who works at Missing.
  • Chapter 36: Prognostic Signs

    • Marion sees Ghosh looking unhealthy on the morning of his and Hema's anniversary. He follows his father into Casualty and sees Matron giving him a blood transfusion.
    • Ghosh turns the event into a test for Marion: he makes him diagnose him with leukemia.
    • Ghosh makes Marion promise not to tell Shiva and Hema so that they can have normal days with him.
    • Marion spends as much time as he can with Ghosh, soaking up all the knowledge he can.
    • Meanwhile, Hema and Shiva are developing a new surgical technique for dealing with an awful condition called fistula (that's what the girl with the foul-smelling illness had all those years ago).
    • Genet becomes politically radical instead of studying. She joins a group that wants Eritrea, her mother's home region, to separate from Ethiopia.
    • Ghosh gets really sick, and Hema finally finds out about his illness.
    • Shiva and Marion come to a sort of fragile peace, sleeping together again as they worry about Ghosh.
    • Ghosh's dying wish is for Marion to find his father, Thomas Stone, and tell him that he loves him and forgives him for leaving them.
    • Ghosh dies.
  • Chapter 37: Exodus

    • Genet helps a group of guerrillas hijack a plane, and the government believes that Marion is somehow connected. He must leave the country.
    • Shiva gives Marion a going-away present: Thomas Stone's book with a bookmark inside that has a note from Sister Mary Joseph Praise. Hema gives him the copy of the print of St. Teresa with a note saying Ghosh had it framed and wanted him to have it.
    • Marion escapes from Ethiopia with the help of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, the same guys who are behind the hijacking. He has to walk out, carrying only what he can.
    • At a bunker, Marion helps treat some wounded fighters.
    • Marion makes it to Nairobi and decides he wants out of Africa altogether.
  • Part 4, Chapter 38: Welcome Wagon

    • Marion travels to New York.
    • A driver picks Marion up to take him to Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, the hospital where he's got an interview.
    • The caretaker of the hospital, Lou, laughs and tells Marion that he's hired; he doesn't need an interview.
    • Lou is thrilled to learn that Marion plays cricket, as the hospital's cricket team needs a player.
  • Chapter 39: The Cure for What Ails Thee

    • In surgery, the other doctors tell Marion that he needs to contaminate Dr. Abramovitz, a.k.a. Popsy, before he's allowed to cut on the patient. He's a little taken aback.
    • Dr. Popsy, a very old man, makes a shaky cut and causes a big problem. He announces that he's contaminated himself and steps away from the room, leaving the mess to Marion and Deepak, the chief resident.
    • Marion and Deepak find a tumor in Dr. Popsy's belly, which Marion had missed when he did tests. He learns his lesson and feels terrible about it.
  • Chapter 40: Salt and Pepper

    • Marion and his new colleagues complain about the injustice of the poor healthcare for their poor neighborhood.
  • Chapter 41: One Knot at a Time

    • Deepak is served papers by a bailiff.
    • Deepak announces that the hospital will be visited by inspectors and will probably be shut down because there aren't enough interns and supervisors. Popsy is the only one, and he's obviously useless.
    • The papers are actually from Deepak's wife, who is divorcing him and trying to get his money.
  • Chapter 42: Bloodlines

    • A critical patient comes in, and Deepak takes the lead in a really special surgical maneuver called a Shrock shunt.
    • It catches the eye of a surgeon who has come to collect a liver from a dead patient for a transplant. The surgeon compliments Deepak on his skills.
    • After the surgeon leaves, Deepak tells Marion that the man was none other than—dun-dun-dun—Thomas Stone.
    • Gasp.
  • Chapter 43: Grand Rounds

    • Marion starts researching Thomas Stone, who has become a famous liver transplant surgeon in the U.S.
    • Marion goes to a conference in Boston and attends Stone's session.
    • Stone asks the group a question, and Marion is the only one who can answer it.
    • Marion figures out where Stone lives and goes to his apartment. He opens all of the doors and containers, and leaves the bookmark with the note from Sister Mary Joseph Praise on the desk to let him know who was there.
    • Marion also steals Stone's amputated finger, which is in a bottle of formalin.
  • Chapter 44: Begin at the Beginning

    • Thomas Stone visits Marion in his dorm room. They sit and talk awkwardly until Marion asks Stone to tell him the whole story.
  • Chapter 45: A Matter of Time

    • So Stone tells the whole story, starting from his childhood.
    • Stone's father was a drunk, and he loved his mother a lot. She got sick with tuberculosis and was sent to a sanatorium.
    • Thomas started coughing up blood and was reunited with his mother at the sanatorium.
    • Thomas's mother had a growth on her chest that burst, shooting blood everywhere: it was an aneurysm.
    • Thomas's mother died, and Thomas stayed at the sanatorium, learning from the doctor there.
    • Thomas was healed, and Dr. Ross sent him to study in England.
    • Then Thomas's father died.
    • Stone went to medical school in Scotland. He was such a good student that he actually bought himself a cadaver to practice on.
    • Thomas got a job in India but realized he needed to leave when India got its independence from England.
    • On the ship to Africa, he met Sister Mary Joseph Praise—and we know the rest.
  • Chapter 46: Room with a View

    • Stone keeps talking, now about his drunken hallucinations and about Sister Mary Joseph Praise's death.
  • Chapter 47: Missing Letters

    • Stone stays in Marion's room talking until the wee hours. He also saves the hospital's surgery program by adopting it into his own program.
    • Stone and Marion go to an Ethiopian restaurant in New York. The waitress recommends a place called the Queen of Sheba if he's ever in Boston.
    • Stone gives Marion back the bookmark he had left in his apartment. He asks for the letter the bookmark refers to; Marion thought that Stone had it. It's a mystery.
    • Marion tells Stone about his life at Missing and also gives him Ghosh's dying message.
  • Chapter 48: Five Fingers

    • Marion calls Hema and asks about the letter, but no one knows anything about it.
    • Shiva asks to visit Marion in New York, but he never does.
    • Four years go by, and Marion takes his board exam.
    • Shiva becomes famous for his work on fistula surgeries; he even makes the New York Times.
  • Chapter 49: Queen's Move

    • After passing his exams in Boston, Marion decides to eat at the Queen of Sheba to celebrate.
    • It turns out that the owner, the Queen, is Tsige, his old friend from Ethiopia.
    • Tsige takes Marion to her house and tells him that Genet is in New York and has spent time in jail.
    • Tsige and Marion almost have sex. It would be Marion's first time, but Tsige sends him away, telling him that if he wants to do it after he's thought about it, they can.
  • Chapter 50: Slit the Thew

    • Marion buys a house, and a woman shows up there: it's Genet.
    • Genet says that Tsige sent her to ask for his forgiveness.
    • Genet is clearly sick, and Marion takes care of her.
    • After Genet's had a bath, some medicine, and a nap, Marion decides to finally fulfill his goal of losing his virginity to her.
    • Marion doesn't use a condom, and he ignores her when she asks him to stop. PSA: that's not okay.
    • The next day, Marion insists that Genet tell him why she went to jail. It's because she was married and, when her husband cheated on her, she tried to kill him and his lover.
  • Chapter 51: The Devil's Choice

    • Marion doesn't see Genet again. He feels like a fool.
    • Marion gets sick a few weeks later and finds out from a private investigator that Genet had tuberculosis in prison.
    • Marion is so bad that he ends up in the hospital. Dr. Stone sends a cable to Hema telling her to come.
    • Hema and Shiva fly to the U.S., and Stone tells them that Marion has hepatitis B. He must have caught it from Genet.
    • Stone apologizes to Hema for having abandoned his children.
    • Marion is in bad shape and is getting worse. Shiva proposes an experimental surgery in which they would take part of his liver and transplant it to his brother. It's possible because they are identical twins, and Marion's body won't reject the cells as foreign.
    • Shiva convinces the doctors to try it.
  • Chapter 52: A Pair of Unpaired Organs

    • Thomas Stone and Deepak run the complicated transplant surgery.
    • It's a success.
    • When Marion wakes up, they tell him what's happened to him. He and Shiva get to spend some time together, and Marion falls asleep again.
    • Something comes loose in Shiva's brain after he's given some blood thinners for a clot. He's left brain dead.
    • Marion asks Stone to operate on his brother, but Dr. Stone says that it's useless.
    • Marion stays with Shiva as they pull the plug and he dies.
    • In a sort of mystical moment, Marion feels that Shiva is still alive, in him, because he's carrying his liver. They're rejoined after having been separated at birth.
    • Marion hugs his mother, telling her, "Here we are."
  • Chapter 53: She Is Coming

    • Thomas Stone takes Hema and Marion to the airport, and they fly back to Ethiopia. At a layover in Rome, they decide to extend their stay and happen to run across the original statue of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa, the one from Sister Mary Joseph Praise's print.
    • Stone and Marion pray at the statue, and Marion feels as though his mother is speaking to him.
  • Chapter 54: Homefires

    • Back at Missing, Marion starts operating. He doesn't take his flight back to New York.
    • After being back in Ethiopia for eighteen years, Marion finally finds the letter they'd been searching for for so long. It's trapped behind the print that Ghosh had framed.
  • Chapter 55: The Afterbird

    • Marion reads the letter that Sister Mary Joseph Praise had written to Thomas Stone the day before he and his brother were born. In it, she tells Stone that she was planning to leave Missing to hide her shame, and she asks him to come to her.
    • Marion calls Stone to tell him about the letter.