Book Highlight: Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler

Title: Red Thread of Fate

Author: Lyn Liao Butler

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

Genre: Multicultural Fiction

In the wake of a tragedy and fueled by guilt from a secret she’s kept for years, a woman discovers how delicate the thread that binds family is in this powerful novel by Lyn Liao Butler.

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.

Why This Book

Red Thread of Fate is as much Tam’s story of learning to become a single, widowed mother to one and then two children as it is Angela’s story to learning to trust and love a new mother after her own is killed. Most of the story is about Tam and Angela, about the two of them coming to terms with their losses and what it means for them before the boy Tam and her late husband were due to adopt. Tam wasn’t always a perfect mother and Angela, being so young, was prone to acting out and shutting Tam out. But it was beautiful to see them eventually come together to start to form a family.

Angela is a huge part of this book. For as young as she is, she felt quite wise, but was still always just a child. Watching her process her grief was beautiful and heartbreaking, but watching her come to love her new mother was incredibly heartwarming. She’s really such a special child, and her relationship with Tam becomes just as special.


My review: “This book is split into two uneven parts, the first focused on setting up the story and Tam’s journey into becoming a mother to Mia’s daughter, Angela, and the second to unraveling the secrets and becoming a mother to two young children. I really enjoyed how she learned to be a mother to Angela, how difficult and stressful and exhausting it was. Unlike many novels with young children who usually get pushed far to the side, Angela is a huge part of this book”

Utopia State of Mind said “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”

Will Read for Booze gave this 4 out of 5 shots, saying “Tam’s support group, Bee, Abby, and Adam, also deserve so so much credit. Angela, her soon-to-be-in-my-narrative adopted daughter is a little precocious, but it was something that I personally appreciated and she was so sweet. And Charlie is just adorbs”

Fangirl Fury gave this 4 stars, saying “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”

Novels Alive gave this 5 stars, saying “Faced with guardianship of Mia’s young daughter and the pending adoption, Tam is at a crossroads. The author excels at demonstrating Tam’s challenges yet delivers a cast of strong supporting characters in her best friend, Abby, and her newfound doctor friend, Adam.”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | Target | Audible | Google Books | Kobo | Bookshop | !ndigo (Can) | AbeBooks | Book Depository | Thrift Books

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