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?
The Red Thread is a wonderfully written novel chronicling the lives of five couples, along with the adoption agency director, as they go through the process of adopting a baby girl from China. We see their high pointsand low points; their excitementand their jitters. Fraught with emotion, Ann Hood puts a spell on the reader and she seamlessly moves us through the families stories, from their initial meeting, to the home study, to the paperwork, to the months and months of waiting to hear from the Chinese government, and finally to the trip to China to pick up the babies. Through each section of the story, we get the adoption director, Mayas, point of view, as well as the perspective of each family as they struggle with the emotional upheaval that the process brings onto them.
Maya comes with her own set of demons and it is agonizing to read her inner turmoil and how she is haunted by a freak accident that resulted in the death of her infant daughter. It destroyed her and it destroyed her marriage. Through this book, Maya does begin to heal, but she is very tentative and does not want to get emotionally involved with anyone, for fear of losing them, too. I enjoyed reading about Maya's journey and how through her work as an adoption agency director, she is able to begin the healing process.
One of the best parts of the book are the stories of the Chinese mothers and fathers who are forced to give up their baby girls. China has very strict laws about having one child, with the male child being the most desirable. If a family has a daughter first, they are allowed to try for a son, but if a second girl is born, there are strict punishments on those families. Thus, many women are forced to give up their little girls leaving them in parks, on police station steps, or at orphanage doors - in order to avoid punishment. It is utterly heartbreaking and I cannot imagine the pain that these families must endure, hoping that their children end up in good homes. I truly loved reading their stories and it added so much depth to the novel.
I love the magical theory of the red thread, that people are destined to be together. I believe in fate and destiny and I loved reading about the invisible red thread that brought the American families and their abandoned Chinese daughters together. It truly was pure magic.
I thoroughly loved this book and I would highly recommend it. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would thats how much I loved it.
This novel was moving, heart wrenching, and beautiful- much like adoption itself. A real tearjerker in my opinion, especially for an adoptive partent like myself. Get the Kleenex! I know it is a fictional story, but it seemed like every adoptive couple in the story had a deep, dark secret, or an ulterior motive. Not all adoptive parents are looking to replace a lost child, or aren't satisfied with the one they have, or gave up a baby in their past. I guess I'm kinda sensitive about the way adoptive parents are portrayed and the generalizations that are sometimes made. Felt like the sex/romance parts were too much- I really didn't need to read about the sex lives of 20 couples.