Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Red Thread

Once again Ann Hood has written a book that I love, love, love. A few years ago I read The Knitting Circle by Hood and was instantly raving about it. I have been looking forward to The Red Thread now for a while and am not disappointed this time around, either.
Hood certainly writes what she knows. The Knitting Circle, while a novel, shares one woman's heartbreak after losing her child. She joins a knitting circle, and while this doesn't fix her grief, it does help her see that others have their own trials in life, and eventually she does find a way to go on. Hood's own daughter died unexpectedly in 2002 and her own experiences with the loss of a child helps the emotions in The Knitting Cirlce ring true. She is able to convey in words the enormous loss and grief a child's death creates. Now, in Red Thread Hood writes a novel of adoption. Maya is the director of an adoption agency, matching couples with young girls in China. Throughout the novel the different couples' stories are shared- each having their own reasons for adopting, their own struggles with creating a family, and their own challenges in their marriages. Maya also has a few things to come to terms with. The reason she started the adoption agency is because her own daughter died after a horrible accident in her home, and unable to forgive herself she leaves Hawaii, where she lived, and her husband behind. Maya faces opportunities to allow herself to feel alive again and to share herself with others, yet she must make peace with her past first. Also included are the stories of the different babies that were given up to be adopted and how each came to the adoption agency for placement. Each story was heartbreaking - wanted by their mothers in most cases, yet not considered worth much in their country.
Adoption is also something Hood knows firsthand. Three years after her daughter's death she adopted a daughter from China. This story once again covers the feelings of loss, love and heartbreak, as well as hope.
While I am saddened for Hood's own loss, the fact that she shares a part of herself in her books makes me trust her writing that much more and has helped her to create believable, authentic characters.
I started this one last night and had a hard time putting it down to run some errands today. I absolutely love The Red Thread and Ann Hood's work.


Peaceful Reader said...

Glad you finished it!! I will put it on my library list.

Diane said...

I like Ann Hood a lot and am looking forward to this one; great review.

Serena said...

This sounds like a lovely book...thanks for the review.

Von said...

Isn't it interesting how the many truamas of adoption can be reduced to a 'lovely book'?