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Verghese brilliantly brings to life the Addis Ababa of the 1960s,'70s and '80s,a time of horrific political convulsions that transformed the ancient hidden Christian African empire of Haile Selassie's day into a Stalinist revolutionary hell under Mengistu, and to his regime's final collapse. Yet this is just the background, to a convincing and beautiful saga of passions and of family upheavals and torments, woven well into accounts of how a group of doctors are connected by relationship, rivalry and skills into a collective of dedicated men and women fighting to save life in a poor and war-torn third world country. It held me to the last full stop. Surprisingly, the book has attracted less attention in Britain than in the US. It deserves better from UK readers.
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