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A Serious Theme
on 1 May 2013
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.