The Cider House Rules by John Irving is a masterpiece. Set in rural Maine, it is tells the story of Dr. Larch, an ether addict and abortionist and Homer Wells an orphan at the orphanage run by Dr. Larch. St. Cloud is an orphanage with a difference, Dr. Larch runs the orphanage with care for his young charges. He also performs abortions (an illegal action at the time), offering women a choice. Homer develops a father son relationship with Dr. Larch, the older man caring for and training the younger. While Dr. Larch is clearly pro-choice, Homer is opposed to abortion. He leaves the orphanage with a young couple, finds love, breaks his heart and ultimately faces hard choices and trying circumstances. But this book is so much more! It has great heart. Irving imbues his characters with passion, gives them moral dilemmas, and asks significant questions. He also entertains. John Irving can be very funny. To write a novel on such an explosive topic with such a deft touch is genius.
— Deon Stonehouse