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4.4 out of 5 stars
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This novel deals with the very serious subject of child trafficking in modern-day China. Every day young girls are taken from their homes and trafficked across China, these girls are often groomed to be brides and are usually treated very badly, very few of them ever see their family again. It is estimated that at least 20,000 girls are kidnapped every year.

The author of A Thread Unbroken has lived in China and advocates for Chinese orphans. She has volunteered in a Chinese orphanage and has received awards for the work that she has done. There is no doubt that Kay Bratt knows her subject very well, and must be applauded for the valuable work she does, not least in raising awareness of this terrible situation.

I was really looking forward to this fictional account of two young girls who were kidnapped from their small village and taken to a fishing community many miles away. Chai and Josi had been friends since they were tiny. Josi walked with a limp and Chai had always been her protector. Chai and Josi end up with a family with four sons, it becomes clear that Chai is destined to become the wife of the oldest son.
The story follows their time with the family. They are treated like slaves, expected to wash, cook and clean for the family and made to live outside in a cold and unfurnished shed.

This should have been a wonderful read, but sadly it is lacking in any depth whatsoever. It reads like a children's / Young Adult's story, the characters are expressionless and one-dimensional with no real feeling to them. Some of the coincidences in the plot line, whilst convenient to the story, are totally over the top and pretty unbelievable. This really began to grate on my nerves as I got further and further into the book. The ending is inevitable, and has the feeling of a child's fairy story to it.

The subject of the story is interesting and I would love to read more on this theme, but will look for a different author.
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on 22 September 2013
Not for the first time I wonder at the number of 5 star reviews; I read to the end as I do not like to abandon a book but I have to agree with the minority of writers who were disappointed. The story is difficult to believe in, from the characters who act in unlikely ways (the girls who are so naive that they follow the woman who is kidnapping them and do not question the bait of a pretty dress given by a stranger, to the various coincidences that so conveniently happen (Chai leaves the boathouse for the first time and bingo, meets the nun, gets to the church, stays for a chat, and nobody misses her! if the book was meant as a way to attract attention to a social problem, its main failure is that there is no real feeling or emotion as all the protagonists lack depth and you can't develop any sympathy for them; if it was meant as just "ordinary" reading matter (ie no didactic intention), well, it is so predictable and simplistic in its plot and "analysis" of characters, that, again, it does not achieve this purpose.
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on 13 September 2013
This was a good short read concerning the important and serious issue on child kidnapping which is prevalent in China. I was looking forward to reading a heart wrenching story about two girls who had been kidnapped and sold onto a family with the end goal of marrying them off to another family, and their the pain their father goes through trying to look for them. However, I completely agree with Lincs Reader's review. I felt the book was written very one dimensionally and it was very matter of fact. There is no depth or development of character, and I felt I was reading something written for a young adult as the plot becomes predictable as you read further into the book and of course there is that happy ending.

It is a good quick read, but it lacks that extra something that makes you bond with the characters or truly engage with the book.
I bought the book for 99p and I felt marginally disappointed afterwards so I wouldn't recommend buying the book for £2.99.
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on 26 August 2013
A gentle but enthralling read that had me keep dipping into the book to find out what happened next. I'm sure not many true stories of child trafficking in China, where young teenage girls are stolen to order to be sold as brides, have such neat and happy endings, but the two girls in the story were well characterised and the attention to detail very good. Would make a good family film.
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on 22 April 2013
I must have bought this a little while ago because, by the time I decided to read it, I had no idea what the genre was, and it was a leap in the dark. I was very comfortable with the first 2 or 3 pages, thinking it was going to be a pleasant read - and then two young girls are kidnapped. It's a chilling indictment of a section of society that kills or abandons its own girl babies. When their sons are old enough to start looking for a wife, there are so few within their community that they pay to have a suitable young girl stolen from an outside family.

I found the writing and, in many ways, the story, particularly the ending, a bit naive and simplistic, and wondered whether I had picked a "young adult" or even children's book by mistake, but despite this I was gripped by the plight of the two girls and not for a second did I consider not finishing it. If your taste is so sophisticated that you would only read high-class literary fiction, this is probably not for you, but otherwise I think you will find this a good, thought-provoking read.
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on 17 September 2013
This book may not be the best-written one that I've ever read, but it is one of the most moving stories that I've ever come across in a long life as a book-worm.
The story is fiction, but based upon the author's knowledge of child-trafficking in China from the time that she has spent in the country and her experience of volunteering in orphanages there.
At the end of the book we are told that, although reported statistics suggest that the Chinese government is doing much to break up the trafficking gangs and to recover the stolen children, in actual fact the local authorities do little to help - and may even profit from dealings with those involved in this dreadful trade.
The author wants to bring the attention of the world to the plight of these children and those organisations in China which are trying to help them be re-united with their own families.
I applaud Kay Bratt for the time and effort that she has put into doing this - and I thank her for raising my awareness.
This is a story that you really need to read.
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on 5 April 2014
Although the events in this book after fictional, A Thread Unbroken relates a story based in fact. In China, children are still abducted and sold into slavery or prostitution by organised gangs. Kay Bratt wants this fact to reach a wider audience and I urge you to read this book.
As well as learning more about child trafficking, you will enjoy a week written story that demonstrates how human spirit cannot be fully subdued and how love can sustain us even at the darkest times. The love that connects Chai and her father Jun is the thread unbroken of the title and is this thread that although stretched is never completely severed.
I enjoyed this story and the insights out gave into Chinese rural life and traditions and would like to learn more.
On a negative note, I found the book just a little too 'American' in its language with words like 'gotten' striking a discordant note all too often but was able to ignore these as I enjoyed the actual story enough to ignore the writing style.
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on 18 January 2014
This is a fascinating story,beautifully written. Sometimes very emotional and also very funny.

It is a Page Turner.

This book would appeal to all ages from teenagers to the Golden Oldies.
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on 21 August 2014
I started to read this book as just another story but as the story unfolded I soon became immersed in the book and couldn't put it down. What a shock and an in-site into Chinese culture, of which I know very little. It reminded me of Romania, where I had visited various orphanages full of children who were not really orphans. Thank you for opening my eyes to the plight of children in China. I hope that many people will read your book and will empathise with Chais family and in particular a father's bond with his child and Chais unwavering belief that she would be found. Certainly an unbreakable thread.
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on 23 March 2014
I really enjoyed this book from the start and found it difficult to put down. I loved the Fathers determination to find his missing Daughter and also the girls determination to keep going until they were found. I won't give away the plot but must admit to having tears in my eyes towards the end of the story. The description of the children in the care of the Nuns was well written and the love they had for the children in their care was so touching that again tears were often not far from the surface. I will certainly look out for this Author again.
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