I have a love/hate relationship with John Irving. I love his novels but they take me ages to finish. Mind you it is worth it as an Irving novel needs time to unravel and due to the complex (but never off-putting) plots you need utmost concentration.
Homer Wells is an unwanted orphan who is then ‘adopted’ by the orphanage’s founder, Dr. Wilbur Larch. The thing is that it also doubles as an abortion clinic, which at the time the book takes place, is illegal.
Dr. Larch wants Homer to take up his profession as an abortionist but this is against Homer’s principles and he runs off with a couple, only to find himself entangled in a complicated love triangle. As with all of Irving’s books time plays an important factor and a series of events change and shift the relationships has with all the characters in the novel.
The CIder House Rules is a masterpiece that encompasses teachings on morality , politics and racism. However I will admit that I preferred A Prayer for Owen Meany, mainly because I felt that Cider House… had some meanderings and untied loose ends which contributed nothing to the plot and I have to admit that the ending is a bit rushed and some details could have been expanded but nevertheless this is one almighty novel that doubles up as a great story as well as a morality tale.