My Aunt Billie says she did NOT recommend Cutting for Stone. She didn't even get through it - did not like it at all. I admit, it was GORY. But like I told her, I can handle reading about pain, suffering, and cruelty to humans, in general, but not to animals. So the gory parts of this book didn't bother me too much. I still really, really, liked it, and I still trust the recommendations that Aunt Billie DOES make to me.