➯ The Garment of Destiny Read ➸ Author Thomas Thonson – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Garment of Destiny When Eli Steadman, A Mixed Race Student Raised By A White Family, Fakes A Hate Crime On A College Campus So That He Can Win The Student Body Presidency, He Sets Off A Firestorm Of Events That Reverberate Through Many People S Lives With Unexpected Consequences The Controversy Alienates Eli From His Family And Renders Him Vulnerable To A Web Of Competing Agendas By A Cast Of Self Serving And Craven Enablers Both Black And White Soon He Has Betrayed Almost Everything He Believes In Set In A Small Colorado Mountain Town In 2005 With Hurricane Katrina Playing Out On Television Screens All Across The Country, The Garment Of Destiny Is A Novel That Turns A Gimlet Eye On The Landscape Of American Life Along The Way It Finds Both Dark Comedy And Tender Tragedy, And Is Sure To Be As Controversial As It Is Riveting.


10 thoughts on “The Garment of Destiny

  1. says:

    Far from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, a storm of racial tension is about to rage through the fictional Kors College in The Garment of Destiny Correspondingly, the subject matter of Thomas Thonson s second book and first novel is miles from that of his Hollywood themed collection, You Don t Die of Love, which I reviewed last August for LLBR Yet the author retains the same ability to create complex and unique characters using an unpretentious writing style.A cross burning on the lawn of Mo Far from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, a storm of racial tension is about to rage through the fictional Kors College in The Garment of Destiny Correspondingly, the subject matter of Thomas Thonson s second book and first novel is miles from that of his Hollywood themed collection, You Don t Die of Love, which I reviewed last August for LLBR Yet the author retains the same ability to create complex and unique characters using an unpretentious writing style.A cross burning on the lawn of Moses Stokes, a professor at the Colorado school, foreshadows the racial and cynical tones underlying the subsequent events Moses sends his family away, ostensibly for safety, but also for convenience so he can pursue other activities his wife would not appreciate, including an affair with his gorgeous assistant, Eva Diaz That duplicity is reflected in many of the other characters including, eventually, the one we ought to root for, Eli Steadman.Moses enlists Eli to represent the professor s interests by challenging the indomitable Lucy Raines for student body president Moses hates Lucy because she s been publicly critical of the professor in the past He sees Lucy as an influential bigot A rise in her status could only increase his troubles Na ve Eli, relatively sheltered from racism to this point in his life, just thinks she s a jerk Just ahead, he spotted Lucy Raines sitting at her little campaign table Lucy was nobody s siren She was an organization kid right down to the soles of her shoes Every minute of her day was planned and her enthusiasm never waned whether it was giving campus tours for prospective students, or taking part in something called the Community Service Leadership Training Corps, an organization that baffled Eli What did they really do, anyway He could never figure it out It didn t help that Lucy thought she was smarter than everybody, and let you know it right away There was no way to have a regular conversation with old Lucy No way.Eli s detached, happy go lucky worldview quickly bursts like a weak levee when other people invade his space and the college town like a storm There s Tyus and his brood of gangbangers from South Central LA, invited by Moses to help him with research, cooking up trouble in the form of a meth lab There s Tanya Brown, arriving in search of the son she gave up Eli and perhaps to make trouble for the rapist who fathered him, the Reverend Donald Devine Then there s Alan Drabble, a white psychology professor seeking tenure at the college by exploiting the race card to set up a mandatory diversity program only he d be qualified to run And of course, the aforementioned Moses and his temptress, Eva Diaz.The direct and indirect influence of these people and their agendas sweep away Eli s personal values and lead him to make self destructive decisions Much like New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina a current event frequently referenced in the story on an individual scale The apex of his fall occurs when Eli colludes with several people to fabricate and conceal a hate crime The falsity ensures his victory in the election when Lucy drops out, on principle It also triggers other actions and reactions that ensure his personal downfall, as well as tragic, often bizarre endings for others.The first chapters in the book readlike short stories or vignettes of the characters and remind me of You Don t Die of Love Once thedramatic events unfold, the pace picks up and it becomeslike a novel Even then, the majority of the narrative takes place in people s heads, after the fact, withreflection than action It s a plot based on effect and cause, rather than cause and effect, and in that respect it complements the opening quote from Martin Luther King, Jr that inspired the title Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny Whatever effects one directly affects all indirectly It s risky for an author to distance the reader from the action this way, not to mention allowing the reader to lose empathy for the protagonist Yet here it makes sense The true drama exists in the psyches of the characters and their interaction with this toxic and racially volatile environment The parallels to the awful circumstances of Hurricane Katrina are apt.The variety in the voices ensures this approach never gets tedious As does the strong writing the influence of Updike, Roth, and other New Yorker style masters is evident Unfortunately, as with Thonson s previous book, the proofreading did not live up to the quality of the prose At one point we re told Tyus s nickname is Hitter, then later it s Shooter As well, the ending seemed somewhat anti climactic and long The reliance on coincidence to bring characters and elements together was flimsy at times and the potential conflict promised by the return of Eli s biological mother didn t materialize as emotionally as it could have.These concerns do not negate the fact that The Garment of Destiny is a unique and challenging novel, but one that, despite the nature of its content, also entertains Another worthwhile read from an accomplished writer willing to take chances


  2. says:

    My review of The Garment of Destiny by Thomas Thonson is a bit mixed I loved the beginning of the novel The protagonist, Eli Steadman was likeable, seemed hard working and idealistic As a college student he was being exposed to ways of life different from those he was raised with by his Caucasian adoptive family Then Eli s professor, Moses Stokes decided to push Eli to run for student body President Stokes introduced Eli to gangbangers, maneuvered his graduate student so that she could wa My review of The Garment of Destiny by Thomas Thonson is a bit mixed I loved the beginning of the novel The protagonist, Eli Steadman was likeable, seemed hard working and idealistic As a college student he was being exposed to ways of life different from those he was raised with by his Caucasian adoptive family Then Eli s professor, Moses Stokes decided to push Eli to run for student body President Stokes introduced Eli to gangbangers, maneuvered his graduate student so that she could watch over Eli, and worked to convince Eli that his white upbringing was hindering him In the perfect world Eli would have resisted the negative temptations set before him, but he was unable to in The Garment of Destiny Ultimately he cheated on his girl friend with the grad student, ignored a childhood friend to spend time campaign hanger ons, and agreed to stage a fake hate crime I soon began to loose interest in Eli as his character s morals seemed to take a 180 degree turn I couldn t find any character I could connect with by the end of the novel Eli, the bright promising student wound up in jail and refused to speak up for himself It was if he decided he deserved his punishment which he didn t The police officer who was trying to decipher the mess around the hate crime ended up in the hospital and was unable to convince Eli to stand up for himself Eli s biological mother was killed and nothing became of her story line At the conclusion of the novel it felt as though there were a number of potentially, strong story lines that were only partially concluded or explored As a reader I was unsure if the ending was supposed to point out that despite some reforms, society still has a long way to go in order to gain racial equality or if Thonson wanted to emphasize the potential danger of stereotypes, regardless of who is making them


  3. says:

    Oh my this book was quite the page turner It was amazing Great story, full of twists and turns that I didn t see coming Eli is a mixed race student in a small town in Colorado Moses is an African American professor at his college that has become a conrtoversial and risky investment for the university Alan is a white professor who wants to have a constant position in the school with a diversity program THe headmaster president is trying to come out from under some racial profiling comments h Oh my this book was quite the page turner It was amazing Great story, full of twists and turns that I didn t see coming Eli is a mixed race student in a small town in Colorado Moses is an African American professor at his college that has become a conrtoversial and risky investment for the university Alan is a white professor who wants to have a constant position in the school with a diversity program THe headmaster president is trying to come out from under some racial profiling comments he had recently made about college athletes combined, the results end up causing damages that no one could have predicted, and it all starts with a decision that was made by a preacher and a 14 year old girl many years ago..would recommend to most of my friends I won this book in a goodreads giveaway


  4. says:

    This book started a bit slow for me and then when the pace picks up everything starts going extremely wrong for the characters An interesting take on how a lie can totally screw your life and maybe you shouldn t put your faith in the wrong people The only thing I don t get is if Eli s adopted mother was so sure about him why didn t she try to help him at the end


  5. says:

    Totally enjoyed reading this book The characters and the situations they get involved in are all believable This book shows how the actions of one person can affect the lives of many others for years to come Very engrossing and well written.I won this book in the GoodReads First Read giveaway Great addition to my library.


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