• The Red Thread

  • By: Ann Hood
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (684 ratings)

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The Red Thread  By  cover art

The Red Thread

By: Ann Hood
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
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Publisher's Summary

In China there is a belief that people who are destined to be together are connected by an invisible 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 desire for a child.

Their painful and courageous journey toward 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 the red thread of fate that binds these characters’ lives. Heartrending and wise, The Red Thread is a stirring portrait of unforgettable love and yearning for a baby.

©2010 Ann Hood (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“[An] engaging new tearjerker….The individual arcs are woven together beautifully….Hood's sensitive depiction of her characters' hopes and fears makes for a moving story of dedication, forgiveness, and love.”( Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about The Red Thread

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Good idea for a story, but...

"The Red Thread" is the next selection for my book club. I can't wait for the discussions! The idea of telling the story of the sad prediciment of people in China who give up their baby girls and the Americans who take the heart-rendering journey to adoption is what attracted me to this book and lead me to recommend it to my book club friends.
But for all that, I found the plot shallow, the people shallow and way more sex than was necessary.
The stories of these marriages (the Americans) were depressing and, for the most part, self-inflicted, and I found very few of them ready to be parents.
It was hours of these horrific situtations and sad tales and then The End. They get their babies and, we must assume, that everyone lives happily ever after. As if a baby is the answer to everyone's bad behavior and problems. What a shallow, sad soap opera!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Well written, well read...

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Masterfully told and well paced. I enjoyed meeting all the characters. The author's own story is touching to say the least...

4 people found this helpful

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Best of the year!

This was quite the surprise! I commend this author on the highest level for her ability to bring so many different women’s (and men’s) positions to light in this wonderful book. I feel like I have been a third of these women at different stages on my life and never have I resonated with and identified with a book as well as this. I have recommended it to all my friends of different ages. The author created a beautiful story and each couple’s journey was so believable and so real and I bawled my eyes out more than once over this incredible book. This is December and I have read at least thirty-five books this year (and written one as well) and I can say this is my favorite book of the year! Great job! I highly recommend it. P.S. This book is not just for women - if you are in a relationship and you want to understand various positions people come from in their lives, this book will suit you well. I love The Red Thread. 🎈

2 people found this helpful

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Reeks of white saviourism

This could’ve been such a great story, so I kept listening, hoping it would get less cringy….but none of the characters are likable. Dehumanizing depictions of the birth families… in the end, the author doesn’t refer to them by name - even though a chapter had been dedicated to each family.
May have been okay if I listed to this back in 2010 when it was first published, but for 2021, this is very tone deaf.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to listen to at points

The narrator and flow of the story was great. The story wasn’t boring either. It was hard to listen to however. The mistreatment of the Chinese mothers and abandoning, or forced separation, of the daughters born from them was vile. I also found it horrendous how the American mom of the special needs daughter treated her daughter. I’m sure all of those things were written that way to provoke such feelings, but it was enough for me to know I won’t be listening to this book again.

If you’re sensitive to such things as that, you’ve been warned.

1 person found this helpful

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It’s not about babies it’s about sex

Having adopted my own daughter from China I was interested in this book… Yet it’s not really about the babies (or at least I couldn’t get that far) I didn’t really care to hear about the characters’ sexual exploits and making the babies (or not making the babies). tuned out before finishing

1 person found this helpful

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dysfunctional people adopting

none of the couples should have been given babies. bunch of dysfunctional people
narrator was best part and may be only redeeming part

1 person found this helpful

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Aren't we all connected in some way

The red thread or in other words connections. Babies, money, infertility, sweet potatoes, love, marriage all have some connections when we dive deeper into their meanings. Ann takes us through cultural events, beliefs and the quest for motherhood in the eyes of an American and foreigner. No matter where we are in the world, the issues are one in the same. #Book4of2021 #bookworm #whatsnext

1 person found this helpful

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Poorly written

This story uses the term she said, he said ad infinity! I couldn’t even listen to the rest of it, it was so annoying!

1 person found this helpful

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Important Topic Badly Executed

Not a single American couple deserved the child they adopted. The characters were a collection of self-involved, spoiled, emotionally damaged, superficial and silly individuals who exhibited all their worst traits as couples.

The author neglected to consider all the inherent problems with foreign adoptions, making the “happily ever after” ending ridiculous. Children raised in a institution until 9-12 months often have severe psychological issues. Those who come from the experience emotionally unscathed face identity challenges, especially when they look nothing like their adoptive families. Families who think visiting China and learning to cook a few Chinese foods counts for cultural sensitivity are either foolish or naive.

Don’t waste your time...

1 person found this helpful