Monday, June 7, 2010

The Red Thread review

Jacket description:
" 'In China there is a belief that people who are destined to be together are connected by an invisible red thread. Who is at the end of your red thread?'

After losing her infant daughter in a freak accident, Maya Lange opens the Red Thread, an adoption agency that specializes in placing baby girls from China with American families. Maya finds some comfort in her work, until a group of six couples share their personal stories of their desire for a child; their painful and courageous journey towards adoption forces Maya to confront the lost daughter of her past. Brilliantly braiding together the stories of Chinese birth mothers who give up their daughters, Ann Hood writes a moving and beautifully told novel of fate and the red thread that binds these characters' lives."

Oooh boy, this one was an emotional doozy. I knew I would probably be needing a ridiculous amount of tissues and I was completely right. The adoption topic hits a bit close to home, as Aaron and I are attempting to decide if, when, and how to adopt a child or children, and as each woman told her own story as to why their family had chosen adoption, the connections were certainly made with my own story.

From infertility to frequent miscarriages, to a daughter with a genetic disorder, these women have a multitude of different reasons for deciding to adopt a baby girl from China, each just as heartbreaking and powerful as the last. Author, Ann Hood, makes these stories come alive and fills them with honest and beautiful characters, with hearts reaching out for these baby girls.

The most unique and eye-opening portion of this novel was the stories from the Chinese mothers that gave up (or forced to give up) their daughters. We never have the opportunity to hear the other side's these baby girls end up in orphanages. And though this is definitely a fictional story, the chance to read about the Chinese side of things was amazing. Hood wove the stories of the Chinese women and the American women perfectly and left my heart hurting for both sides.

Through the entire book, we're given this inside glimpse into the world of contemporary adoption and the process through the eyes of those actually waiting for children and those having to give up their children, whether they wish to or not. If you've adopted, are looking to adopt, or just want a beautifully written story by a fantastic author, I highly recommend picking this one up. I read my copy from the library, but will be going out to buy my own this week.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5
If you read this and enjoy it, grab The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale by Grace Lin for your children. Another great one!

The Red Thread
Ann Hood
304 pages
Adult fiction
W.W. Norton & Company
May 2010
Book borrowed from my local library

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!


Susan said...

When we were first considering adoption, we really wanted a baby from China. Because of my health problems, we didn't qualify to adopt from there, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for China. I really need to read this book. Thanks for reminding me about it!

Amanda said...

I really, really enjoyed it. I'm sure it was because I was a little biased to the subject, though I do try to not let too many personal feelings get in the way of my reviews. We're all human though, I suppose!

We had a very close family friend adopt from China when I was a teen and it's stuck with me ever since. We aren't old enough yet (that sound so silly), b/c there's an age minimum and we aren't nearly financially capable of picking that country at this point, but it's in our minds!

Abby said...

That sounds amazing - I'm going to have to pick that one up! My best friend wants to adopt a child someday and I'll have to see if she knows about this book, too. Thanks for your review, Amanda!