The Red Thread

The Red Thread

3.7 33
by Ann Hood
     
 

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The new bestseller from the author of The Knitting Circle: “Is there anyone who can write about the connections between ordinary people as well as Ann Hood does?”—Jodi Picoult
“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?”

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Overview

The new bestseller from the author of The Knitting Circle: “Is there anyone who can write about the connections between ordinary people as well as Ann Hood does?”—Jodi Picoult
“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. 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. Heartrending and wise, The Red Thread is a stirring portrait of unforgettable love and yearning for a baby.

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Editorial Reviews

Elle
“A wisely woven novel.”
Washington Post
“A subtle and unusual adoption story, many-layered, exquisitely told.”— Reeve Lindbergh
Good Housekeeping
“Hope sinks and floats again in Hood’s lovely, perceptive tale.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Hood wears her big heart on her sleeve. . . . Her prose . . . shines in the portraits of the Chinese families who give up their daughters.”— Tricia Springstubb
Reeve Lindbergh - Washington Post
“A subtle and unusual adoption story, many-layered, exquisitely told.”
Tricia Springstubb - Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Hood wears her big heart on her sleeve. . . . Her prose . . . shines in the portraits of the Chinese families who give up their daughters.”
Reeve Lindbergh
This is a subtle and unusual adoption story, many-layered, exquisitely told.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In her engaging new tearjerker, Hood (The Knitting Circle) follows several families as they attempt to adopt daughters from China. Holding down the center is Maya Lange, who, as head of the Red Thread Adoption Agency, is the prospective parents' guide through the adoption process. Childless Maya is driven by a desire to make amends for a tragic accident in her past, though her clients have their own share of heartbreak—miscarriages and infertility—and, predictably, the expectations and reservations about parenthood that they confide to Maya are shaped by a host of personal issues. In a nod to Hood's last novel, several women knit to calm their nerves as they await their new daughters. Meanwhile, Maya, also a knitter, takes painful steps toward letting go of the past. The individual arcs are woven together beautifully, though the interspersed tales of how the Chinese children came to be abandoned tend to clutter more than add. Regardless, Hood's sensitive depiction of her characters' hopes and fears makes for a moving story of dedication, forgiveness, and love. (May)
Library Journal
Like her best-selling The Knitting Circle, Hood's new novel features the themes of loss and reconnection. After the death of her infant daughter in an accident, Maya Lange opens an adoption agency that places Chinese babies with American parents. Six couples waiting to adopt share the lengthy process and eventually create a bond, although they were previously strangers. Meanwhile, Maya is forced to confront her feelings about her child's death and her former husband so that she can heal and learn to fall in love again. The stories of the adopting parents are intertwined with those of the Chinese women who, for various reasons, had to give up their baby girls. The tone here is somber, but in the end these parents are transformed by the healing journeys they have made. VERDICT Hood offers a thoughtful novel about the yearning for a child that's primed to be a book club pick. Readers who enjoyed Hood's last novel or are fans of writers like Jacqueline Mitchard will enjoy this as well. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10.]—Amy Ford, St. Mary's Cty. Lib., Lexington Park, MD
Kirkus Reviews
A group of Americans plan to adopt daughters from China through an agency founded by a bereaved mother, in Hood's moving novel (The Knitting Circle, 2007, etc.). Maya walked away from her husband Adam and her formerly happy life in Hawaii after the accidental death of her infant daughter left her in emotional freefall. (The exact circumstances surrounding the accident are not revealed until halfway through the novel.) In part to assuage her anguish, Maya started The Red Thread Adoption Agency, referring to a Chinese saying that a red thread connects people destined to be together. Operating out of Providence, R.I., Maya conducts her latest orientation of a group of couples embarking on the yearlong (or more) process of adopting abandoned Chinese girl babies. Without exception, the wives initiate the adoptions. Theo is bored by ovulation-driven sex with wife Sophie and, still a globetrotting beach bum at heart, views children only as a threat to freedom. Emily, whose efforts to win over her teenage stepdaughter Chloe have netted rejection, unwittingly abetted by her husband Michael, seeks family equilibrium. Nell and Benjamin Walker-Adams, New England aristocrats (he's descended from John Adams) have given up on Nell's mood-bending fertility treatments, but she's experiencing the most untrammeled baby-lust of her charmed life. Brooke, married to ex-Major Leaguer Charlie, yearns to fill the void left by her sterility, but Charlie thinks three's a crowd, until suddenly their attitudes reverse. Susannah, ambivalent about and vaguely shamed by the retarded daughter her husband Carter adores, wants a "normal" child. Interspersed throughout are italicized vignettes about Chinese mothers forcedby the quota on children and prejudice against girls to make wrenching decisions. The raw and riveting Chinese stories siphon narrative juice from the more conventional American angst that dominates the novel. Still, the tale ends with a pleasing sense that the red thread is more than a myth, especially in Maya's case.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393339765
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/02/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
238,539
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Ann Hood is the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and the best-selling author of The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, Comfort, and An Italian Wife, among other works. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Best American Food Writing Award, a Best American Travel Writing Award, and the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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