Cover Image: Red Thread of Fate

Red Thread of Fate

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Member Reviews

Tam loses her husband and her friend in the same day, but she is forced to get herself back on track to deal with her new children. Most of the story is following Tam as she remembers her husband, and his cousin Mia, and how their lives took them apart, and set them back together. There is a lot of discovery in this book, which at times seemed extremely slow. I wish the story had been told more from Mia's point of view since I found her to be a more interesting person than Tam.
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Lyn Liao Butler's latest read "Red Thread of Fate" is absolutely fantastic.  Its heart-wrenching and moving and I kept putting myself in the shoes of the different characters wondering how I would handle their challenges.  I highly recommend this book.
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I don't throw around the word "favorite" a lot, so when I say that RED THREAD OF FATE by Lyn Liao Butler is one of my new favorite books, that means something. 

This novel is masterful, elegant storytelling at its finest as generations of secrets are untangled and relationships are woven together over the course of a read that is too compelling to put down. RED THREAD OF FATE yanked my emotions around like I was a helpless puppet along for the exceptional ride from the first shocking sentence to the bittersweet finale. This is one of those rare books that makes me wish I could scrub all memories of it and read it fresh all over again.
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Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler is an #ownvoices drama that will appeal to fans of Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You and Jesse Q. Sutanto's Dial A for Aunties.  The story revolves around Tam, whose husband Tony and her are about to adopt a son from China.  One day, Tam is shocked to find that Tony and his cousin Mia were involved in a car accident.  Tam is now the guardian of Mia's daughter, Angela, who barely knows.  What will Angela teach her about life?  And what secrets was Tony keeping from her?

Here is a dramatic excerpt from Chapter 1:

"But as she pulled into the dead-end street that led to their town house at the bottom of the hill, her heart sank. Sitting in front of their unit was a Dobbs Ferry police car. She knew then—something bad had happened.
She pulled into her parking spot and gripped the steering wheel hard to stop the tingling in her fingers. When her vision blackened, she squeezed her eyes shut and rested her head on the cool leather between her hands. She forced herself to breathe slower to stop the panic from taking over her body, not wanting to leave the safety of her car. She knew that the minute she got out, her life would change forever, and she wanted to hold on to her old life for as long as she could."

Overall, Red Thread of Fate is an outstanding novel about family and secrets.  One highlight of this book is that it's an #ownvoices novel.  As a reader of Chinese descent, I am so happy to support this author, and I hope that more books like this can be published in the future.  I also liked how this book explores more territory than previous books in this genre, such as adoption, marital affairs, and grief in the wake of tragedy.  I did take off 1 star, because I typically don't enjoy books in this genre. That's not the book's fault. I'm just explaining why it wasn't a 5-star read for me personally.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of #ownvoices novels, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in February!
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Red Thread of Fate was a great family drama. It definitely tugged on the heartstrings and touched on some very sensitive subjects that might be triggering to some. My favorite part of this story was how Tam's family came together in the end. Her destiny was not an easy road, but in the end everything seemed to lead to where she needed to be and with the people she needed to be with.
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Red Thread of Fate is a story about a woman who loses her husband but finds a family in the end.  The story is really engaging and the plot starts out really strong.  The characters are well-written and believable.  The only problems I had with the story were the weird ending and the dismissal of a sexual assault as just taking advantage of someone.  However, it is interesting and is worth your time.
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Lyn Liao Butler is excellent at writing family drama that tugs at your heartstrings and keeps you emotionally invested. Quickly becoming an auto-buy author for me. Highly recommended, particularly for fans of Roselle Lim.
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When Tam's husband and his cousin are killed in an accident, she must put aside her proclivity to keep to herself to come to terms with her past mistakes, navigate widowhood and becoming an adoptive parent
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Lyn Liao Butler is a master of family drama and emotional suspense. The way she pulls back the layers of Tam's life - heartbreak, hope, love, betrayal - just keeps you turning the pages. This is a gorgeous story about what it means to have a family of all kinds.
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This book weaves a moving tale about all the things that tie a family together: love, forgiveness and secrets. Butler does a wonderful job of making her story feel intricate and tangible—something you can see and taste and touch. RED THREAD OF FATE is beautifully told and deeply felt.
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Tam and Tony’s marriage has hit a bit of a rough spot but they are working things out and have applied to adopt a child from China. But suddenly Tony and his cousin Mia are killed in an accident and Tam is left to pick up the pieces of her life alone, including taking in Mia’s five-year-old daughter as well as deciding whether to go through with the adoption. While the overall story line was good and I learned much about China, Chinese cultural biases and the adoption process, there was a bit too much telling for my liking. Also, Angela acted much more than the five or six-year-old she was supposed to be. In some cases she seemed more mature than Tam. Overall it deserves 3.5 stars which I’ve rounded up to 4. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Red Thread of Fate is many things mystery, suspense, family bonds and heartbreaking!  The character building was great! I couldn't help but feel with them and for them! Lyn Liao Butler is an amazing author! She can take complex stories and weave a story you will struggle to put down but also characters that stay with you long after your finish! Great story! Thank you Berkley Publishing for sharing another great story with me!
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I was lucky enough to snag an advance digital copy of RED THREAD OF FATE by Lyn Liao Butler through a Berkley Shelf Awareness giveaway. Thanks for the early look, and have a safe and happy weekend!
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Lyn Liao Butler is an auto-buy author for me! I can't get enough of how she writes complex stories that cover so many themes while also containing humor and heart. Red Thread of Fate has everything---family secrets, mystery, identity. The rare blend of suspense and humor makes this story hard to put down. I can't wait to read what Butler writes next!
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Lyn Liao Butler does it again! I was anticipating Butler's second book after devouring The Tiger Mom's Tale, and Red Thread of Fate did not disappoint! With a poignant tale and beautiful prose, Butler once again whisks us onto a powerful journey of loss, sorrow, but ultimately a journey of quiet strength.
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Another non-stop read by Lyn Liao Butler. Just when you think you know what will happen next, it doesn’t. This book will break your heart several times but it will also mend it.
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I think some people will love this book, but I am not one of them. I really loved the description, but throughout the book I was so frustrated with the main character I had a lot of trouble getting through the book as a whole. There were moments where I started to glimpse a book I really could have enjoyed, the descriptions were good and the book touched on a lot of really challenging themes - maybe too many. The dialogue was stilted, and I had a lot of trouble with building empathy for a lead character who seemed to be doing her level best to be a caricature  of a weak and fragile woman who was growing into her true self - I really wanted to enjoy this book because I really wanted a happy ending, and there was one, but it also seemed to come a bit out of nowhere. 

Either way, my feelings aside I think this book will do really well for book clubs, so there's that.
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