Study Guide

Cutting for Stone Abandonment

By Abraham Verghese


An undercurrent of being left behind fills almost every page of Abraham Verghese's novel Cutting for Stone. That's partly because Marion and Shiva are abandoned by their father on the very day they're born. The rest of the story is basically Marion's quest to figure out who this mysterious walkaway dad is—and why he abandoned his sons.

As Marion learns more about the circumstances of his birth and is compelled to make decisions as an adult himself, he begins to understand his father and even—dare we say it—find it in his heart to forgive him.

Questions About Abandonment

  1. Do you think Stone realizes he is the father of the twins? How could he not know?
  2. Why does Stone leave and never come back?
  3. Do you think it's fate that Marion runs into Stone in New York? Or chance?

Chew on This

Dr. Thomas Stone abandons his children because he is a coward.

The boys' true abandonment is by their mother, who never comes back.