Cover image for The red thread
The red thread
Large print ed.
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2010.
Physical Description:
427 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.
Local Subject:
The painful and courageous journey toward adoption made by several of her clients forces Maya Lange, founder of The Red Thread, an adoption agency that specializes in placing baby girls from China with American families, to confront the lost daughter of her past.


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After losing her infant daughter in an accident, Maya Lange opens The Red Thread, an adoption agency that specializes in placing babies from China with American families. As six couples share their painful and courageous personal journeys toward adoption, Maya is forced to confront the lost daughter of her past.

Author Notes

Ann Hood was born on December 9, 1956, in West Warwick, R.I. She attended the University of Rhode Island and New York University. For several years, she worked as a flight attendant before pursuing her dream of becoming a writer.

Ann Hood had a dream of writing ever since her first "novel" at the age of 11. It was not until 1987, with the publication of Somewhere off the Coast of Maine that she received the recognition she had been longing for. Set in the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, the story deals with the lives of three women of the Vietnam era and their children. Strong on emotion and personal growth, Hood's writing frequently examines the intricacies of various levels of relationships. Other works include Something Blue, which also involves the association between three friends.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

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 exMajor 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 forced by 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. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Hood's latest engaging novel is a timely exploration of the adoption process, specifically the adoption of Chinese girls by five couples in Providence, Rhode Island, brought together by Maya and her Red Thread Adoption Agency. One by one, Hood introduces each couple: there's a compulsive investment banker and her consultant husband; a social do-gooder and her immature husband who still pines for an ex-girlfriend; Maya's friend Emily, who longs for her own daughter, tired of vying with her stepdaughter for her husband's affection; an ex-baseball player who fears losing his wife's love and attention to the new adoptee; and a mismatched couple with their own mentally challenged daughter whom the wife struggles to love. Maya is an upbeat ringleader who believes every child is connected by a red thread to those fated to play a part in his or her destiny. Hood intersperses the stories of these diverse couples with the sad stories of five Chinese babies slated for adoption, resulting in part soap opera, part enlightening look at contemporary adoptions, and an altogether entertaining read.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.