Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thomas Stone

I realized there's a lot that I could possibly write about with regards to Cutting for Stone but that's an overwhelming thought, so I'll stick to one of the aspects of the book that I really enjoyed.

Earlier this year in the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ELIC), I was really angry at the grandfather character for picking up and leaving his wife and child and being selfish all through his life. Then I was also annoyed at how he just couldn't get his shit together, for lack of better words, and get over the trauma that caused him to leave. I assumed I would feel the same for Thomas Stone. Throughout the book, although the children were lucky to live a fulfilling life with the love of a mother and father, I still couldn't help but think that Thomas Stone was a failure for leaving his children and running from responsibility.

I'm surprised to say I sympathized with the Thomas Stone character and actually felt that he did come through in the way he could for his children. He wasn't in the mental capacity to take care of two children and probably would have caused them more harm in their childhood than leaving them in the care of Hema and Ghosh. (Well, I'm hoping he at least realized that they would be cared for and didn't leave them with no thought of their safety/well-being at all) In the end, when he does meet Marion, he doesn't shy away from the responsibility. He is awkward but puts in effort to reconnect with his son. He helps Marion's hospital from going under and we find out later that he was an anonymous donor for Shiva's cause back in Ethiopia. He doesn't leave ShivaMarion's side during the liver transplant/death debacle.

Somehow his inability to get over the Sister's death was also justified in my mind. I guess his history of the mother that died in his arms and not being able to say anything to Sister about loving her before she died was enough to push him over the edge. I am glad though, that Marion chose to tell Thomas about the letter when he found it, to give Thomas solace that he did come through for Sister in her eyes. It was almost better in terms of their relationship that she died than just left him -- ok maybe it made for a better story the fact that she did die. Hmm...what would have happened, do you think, if she hadn't died and had left Stone with that note and left Missing with the children unborn still?


  1. I like your comments on Thomas Stone. He didn't irritate me as a character. If there was anyone I couldn't tolerate it was the ungrateful, spoiled brat Genet. She got what was coming to her ... throwing away a perfectly good life for whatever stupid issues she had -- what WERE her issues by the way? Something about chasing a dream and not realizing she had it, or something like that?

  2. It's interesting because a lot of times you can blame the character's faults on situational reasons, but for the case of Genet, I think she was just retarded. Like her mom definitely lost it and whatnot, but even before, she had such issues w/ her father. She totally didn't acknowledge him being her father UNTIL he was killed and then wanted to get stupid tattoos of his tribe or whatever. So stupid. She was just kind of a ridiculous character from the start so it actually didn't anger me that she did what she did. I mean as in, you always saw her 'loose cannon' tendencies, so when she went off the deep end, it wasn't that unexpected. She was angering though ... I can't believe even in her last interaction w/ Marion .. she gives him Hepatitis!! Also, I felt so badass that I actually called that it was Hepatitis just by the symptoms.