Sister Mary Joseph Praise is traveling from her homeland in India to Ethiopia when she meets Dr. Thomas Stone. They end up working in the same hospital for several years. One day, when she doesn't show up for work, her colleagues find that she has been concealing the fact that she is pregnant with twins.
One of the twins, Marion, narrates the novel. The first half tells the story of Sister Mary Joseph Praise and the second half picks up with what happens to the boys after their birth during a time of a coup in Ethiopia, living with adoptive parents and Marion's decision to move to the United States. This sweeping novel touches on just about every topic one could imagine: birth, death, love, rules, politics, medicine, family, responsibility, etc. The characters are some of the best developed that I have ever encountered. I wish, however, that there had been slightly less medical jargon/scenes (the author is a MD in real life), because I started to get caught up in trying to understand it and, in the process, got diverted from the pace and beauty of the novel's prose.
At nearly 700 pages, it is a long novel and a big time commitment. However, it is one that is worthy of the dedication to finishing it.