Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Red Thread & The Blessings of the Animals

by Ann Hood 
304 pages

The Red Thread: A NovelThis was my book club's pick a few months back, chosen by a member of my club who is currently waiting for her adopted son to come home to her from South Korea.*  It is the story of Maya (a mother whose baby daughter died due to an accident) and the adoption agency she establishes.  It is also the story of several couples, Maya's clients, and the daughters they hope to adopt from China.  

The book was a very emotional read for just about everyone in the club, though for a variety of different reasons.  One of the best parts for me was the story of each baby girl - how and where she was born, what her birth family was like, and why she was given up for adoption.  I have to admit that many of these stories made me cry.  The other emotion I felt was anger, though this was directly mostly at a few specific adoptive families.  There were definitely some unlikeable people in this book!  It was interesting to discuss with my club which characters we liked the least - very few people agreed with me on who the worst character in the book actually was.

As I read this book I realized that certain scenes would stay with me for a very long time.  It's a quick read but it packs an emotional punch.

* Update: My friend got the call from the adoption agency last week and is in Korea right now.  If all goes as planned, she and her husband will meet their son today!


by Katrina Kittle
428 pages

The Blessings of the Animals: A Novel (P.S.)This was another recent book club book, and one that I voted against reading.  It is just not the kind of book I would ever pick up on my own.  I don't tend to read womens fiction, books about divorce, or books focused on animals - all of which are good descriptions of this book.

Unfortunately this book met my rather low expectations.  It was easy to read but not at all memorable. I didn't identify with any of the characters nor did I find the story all that appealing or all that believable.  I know that a lot of people loved this book ... sad to say, I was not one of them.

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