I was kindly sent The Red Thread in exchange for an honest review in the blog tour hosted by Monsoon. What drew me to this book was not only it being historical fiction which is a genre that I love, but the fact that it takes place in 1830’s Singapore, an era I have never read about and quite frankly, don’t have any knowledge of. However, after finishing this book, I feel as though I lived in that world, saw its people and smelled the air and visited the places. It is clear that Dawn Furnham researched this book meticulously and although sometimes I felt as though there was too much description, you can’t deny that the world just leapt from the page.
The story follows the interracial relationship between Charlotte, the brother of the head of police and Zhen, a triad member after they meet at sea. The two don’t come together until way over page 100 so this is definitely a slow-burning romance. However, when they finally do, their love, despite all its boundaries, is very clear. The book also features Farnham’s take on real life figures such as Irish architect, George Coleman who is responsible for most of Singapore’s famous structures.
To summarise, this book isn’t just a love story, it delves into the history of Singapore and its people. Everything is detailed – the clothes they wore, the food they ate. Its beautiful prose is definitely what sets it apart and it is all brought together by the lovely but ultimately tragic love between Charlotte and Zhen. Zhen’s closest friend, Qian is also a wonderful character and his own thoughts are documented on page too. The entire book is filled with interesting and unique characters and the occasional tiger attack. I’d definitely recommend picking up this book that is the first volume in a series if you are interested in this era as you will finish with a whole lot of knowledge you didn’t have before.
Paperback | Goodreads
Thank you kindly to Monsoon Books for allowing me to take part in their blog tour and make sure you check out the people listed above to see what they have contributed.
Lots of Love,
Dawn Farnham is the author of The Straits Quartet (The Red Thread, The Shallow Seas, The Hills of Singapore and The English Concubine), as well as numerous short stories, plays and children’s books. A former long-term resident of Singapore, Dawn now calls Perth, Australia, home. Her new book, Finding Maria is published in October 2017.