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The Red Thread: A Novel
by Ann Hood

Published: 2010-05-03
Hardcover : 304 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 10 of 10 members
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...
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Introduction

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. 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.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

There exists a silken red thread of destiny. It is said that this magical cord may tangle or stretch but never break. When a child is born, that invisible red thread connects the child’s soul to all the people—past, present and future—who will play a part in that child’s life. Over time, that thread shortens and tightens, bringing closer and closer those people who are fated to be together.

... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Describe how each of the characters reacts to the idea of adoption. How are they similar? What makes them different?

2. How does Maya deal with the loss of her daughter? How does her reaction affect her relationships with and opinions of others?

3. How does Maya’s confession to Jack change her interactions with the people around her, particularly her coworkers?

4. Flowers are a prominent motif throughout THE RED THREAD. Discuss the significance of this.

5. Many of the characters have habits that help them cope through tough situations. How do these habits help or hinder them?

6. Compare and contrast the American couples to their Chinese counterparts.

7. A red thread is said to connect mother to child. Do you think there is also a connection between the expectant mothers at The Red Thread Agency?

8. What do you think about Brooke’s decision? How do you think this decision will affect her in the future?
Does it change the way you view the rest of the characters?
9. Compare and contrast the babies’ Chinese names and their new American ones. How do the names fulfill the hopes and dreams of the mothers, both Chinese and American?

10. How do you think the new parents will deal with the ethnic differences between themselves and their children? What types of things should they do to integrate themselves with their child’s Chinese heritage?

11. What do you think will happen to each of the couples after the novel ends?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the Author:

In 2005, my family adopted a baby girl from China. Three years earlier, our five year old daughter Grace had died suddenly from a virulent form of strep, and in the grief that engulfed us my husband Lorne, our then nine year old son Sam, and I wanted to bring hope and joy back into our home. As we went through the adoption process, we heard so many moving stories of why people choose to adopt, as well as the impact that the one child policy has on families in China who are not allowed to keep their daughters. I wanted to write a book that told human stories of love and hope, disappointment and fear as we seek to have a child. Our own daughter, Annabelle, was five months old when she was found abandoned in a box at the orphanage door in Loudi in Hunan Province. These babies virtually have no history. But from the stories I heard--and from my own writer's imagination--I played out various histories in the form of the stories of the Chinese mothers in THE RED THREAD.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Red Thread"by haz36 (see profile) 02/02/14

 
  "mamachix's thoughts"by mamachix (see profile) 04/27/11

Touching story of Chinese adoption from the perspective of the birth mothers/fathers and their adoptive families.

 
  "Lovely Story"by litimberlake (see profile) 03/31/11

Good story. Easy read. Inspiring. I would recommend to my book club.

 
  "The Red Thread: A Novel"by reds285 (see profile) 03/01/11

This was a fantastic book. Everyone in our book club loved this book. A beautiful story that we would highly recommend to any book club.

 
  "Beautifully Addictive"by Dracopoulos (see profile) 03/01/11

 
  "Easy Read"by aflrichman (see profile) 11/19/10

It was an easy read... written very well... we liked talking about the topic of adoption (and the concept of a red thread) and how that related top us personally as woman and mothers... But b/c there were... (read more)

 
  "The Red Thread"by maggielov4 (see profile) 11/09/10

This book was very interesting. The reader learns a lot about Chinese culture and the adoption process. The story is personal to the author, and that is nice, however, our book club felt that the story... (read more)

 
  "The Red Thread"by margitolsen (see profile) 09/25/10

A heartwarming as well as informative story. Light read.

 
  "The Red Thread"by debblocher (see profile) 09/07/10

I couldn't put this book down. I thought it was beautifully written. The author gave such a touching look into both the families adopting these little girls as well as the families that were giving them... (read more)

 
  "A little short..."by thashaann (see profile) 07/14/10

The book weaved many different stories together, but was a tad too short.

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