Book Reviews

Review: Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler

I read Red Thread of Fate in a few days I was so absorbed. Talk about a book which was so hard to put down! Every chapter I wanted to find out what would happen in the next one. Red Thread of Fate is truly a gripping story about family and love. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The more I read Red Thread of Fate the more I was obsessed. I was instantly intrigued by the idea of adopting children from China – since I’m adopted from China – but then Red Thread of Fate becomes even more complex. It’s a story about the secrets we keep from each other. All the convenient lies and assumptions we let slide. With flashback chapters from Mia’s journal, Red Thread of Fate became impossible to put down. Our lives can change in one moment, in one conversation, like whiplash. And Red Thread of Fate is about navigating the waves.

So much is layered into this book. There are conflicting feelings of identity like a divide between feeling Taiwanese or American. At the same time there are generational secrets and Tam’s evolving relationship with her mother was one of my favorite elements. When the ones we love are taken from us, what do we wish we could have said? What regrets do we leave behind? Secrets can fester. They can break down the foundations until the houses we have built crumble.

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Red Thread of Fate is very much a story that will not let go of you. With a story line which will leave you gasping, it’s also so character driven. It’s heart wrenching and gripping. Yet there’s also a relatability, a fallibility, and true sense of heart within. Find Red Thread of Fate on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Have you read other books that feature adoption?

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