Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review-The Red Thread by Ann Hood

Author: Ann Hood

About (From :W.W. Norton & Company):
From the best-selling author of The Knitting Circle, a mother’s powerful journey from loss to love.

“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 toward adoption forces her to confront the lost daughter of her past.

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful story about the thread of connection that people have who desire and long for a child. The novel centers on Maya who owns and operates The Red Thread Adoption Agency which helps families adopt baby girls from China. She has hidden her own previous loss of a child and marriage from her friends, clients and staff. The story focuses on six couples, including Emily, one of Maya's closest friends. She alternately shares the stories of six women from China and their sad stories of how they had to abandon their daughters. Ann Hood flawlessly threads the stories together so that they are not overwhelming or hard to follow and in the end, she seams together the loose ends. Maya is the thread that connects all of the characters while she is on her own journey of healing and exploration of how she can find wholeness in her own life once again.

This is a beautifully written novel that I found touching and heartfelt. I felt a sense of connection with the characters and their stories and it stirred my own emotions as one who had a strong desire to have a child and became a mother in my mid-thirties. As I read the stories of the Chinese women who had to give up their beloved daughters it made me stop and think on a deeper level. These babies are often well loved and their parents often want to keep them, there are reasons that they must be put up for adoption. In most cases, they are forced to do so. It doesn't take away the pain from the parents letting them go in the hopes of a better life in America for their child. The stories shared scenarios and experiences that give a cultural background and delve into the experiences and emotion of foreign adoption. Some of these  stories will definitely tug at your heartstrings as they did mine. My heart went out to the birth mothers who had to let go of their own thread of connection to their baby girls and allowed another connection to be put in place.

This is an intensely personal story for Ann Hood who lost a child and went through a similar adoption process. This book is fiction but there seems to be some parallels to her own life.  Her writing is superb and rich, this is an author that you don't want to miss. I read her novel The Knitting Circle several years ago before I started blogging and found it to be a deeply touching and powerful story.

Source:  Library Thing Early Reviewers

You can read an interview with Ann Hood about The Red Thread, here.

Check out this wonderful video with Ann Hood:


  1. This one sounds like a powerful book. I know that those women are forced to give up their daughters in China and to me that is heartbreaking!

  2. I need to send this book to my sister-in-law (after I read it, of course). I have two nieces that were adopted from China. They are teenagers now, but their parents went a really long way to meet them and bring them to their new home.

  3. Nice review, Bonnie. It does sound good and emotional on a few levels. I have The Knitting Circle on my shelf and hope to read it this year.

  4. I loved this book as well (audio edition) was excellent. Great review Bonnie.

  5. Terrific review, Bonnie! I simply must carve out the time to read this book.


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