Summary (from the publisher): Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela. With no other family around, Tam has no choice but to agree to take in the girl she hasn’t seen since the child was an infant.
Overwhelmed by her life suddenly being upended, Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. But when a long-concealed secret comes to light just as she and Angela start to bond, their fragile family is threatened. As Tam begins to unravel the events of Tony and Mia’s past in China, she discovers the true meaning of love and the threads that bind her to the family she is fated to have.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
The synopsis of Lyn Liao Butler’s Red Thread of Fate caught my attention as soon as I first heard about this book. The plot of Red Thread of Fate begins right from the get-go, as Tam’s husband, Tony, and his cousin Mia are killed in a car accident. While reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Tam finds out that she is the guardian of Mia’s five year old daughter, Angela. As Tam tries to figure out Angela’s place in her life and determine exactly why Mia & Tony were both together when they died, she is also trying to figure out what to do with Charlie, the young boy that Tony and her are set to adopt from China in a few months.
I would categorize Red Thread of Fate as a family drama meets women’s fiction read, tackling motherhood, family, and love. There are many secrets revealed, as Tam pieces together why Mia would make Tam Angela’s guardian and her and Tony’s relationship. I do admit that I wasn’t really shocked by some of the secrets revealed until the last one revealed by Mia (trying to avoid spoilers). In addition, the book also focuses on Tam’s Taiwanese American upbringing and her husband and Mia’s childhood in China and then emigrating to America. I learned about a variety of topics, such as Taiwanese culture, immigration, life in China, and adoption, as Tam and Tony, after expiring a series of miscarriages, look to adopt a child from the Chinese adoption center that Tony’s mother had worked for. Lyn Liao Butler’s writing style was both informative about these topics while developing the plot and characters.
Despite the many secrets & revelations, the book’s plot wasn’t exactly jaw-dropping in a thriller-like-way. I think that the reader becomes more invested in Tam & her role as a mother, welcoming Angela and Charlie into her life, vs. being shocked by ‘threads’ connecting the people and relationships in her life. The book did fall flat in certain aspects – without spoilers, I thought there would be some type of murder mystery, but the person semi-responsibility for Mia and Tony’s deaths gets to walk away?? I thought one of Mia’s flashbacks was setting someone up as responsible…
Overall, I enjoyed the family focus and character journey within Red Thread of Fate. If you enjoy family dramas, definitely pick this one up!
This review is based on a finished copy provided by the publisher for review. By no means did receiving this review copy affect my thoughts & opinions.
Have you read Red Thread of Fate? Have you read Lyn Liao Butler’s The Tiger Mom’s Tale? Share in the comments!