From 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)
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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. --Donna Seaman
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