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The Red Thread (The Straits Quartet #1)

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
By incorporating real figures and settings from 19th-century Singapore, Dawn Farnham brings to life the heady atmosphere of Old Singapore, where exotic beliefs and customs clash and jostle in the struggle to make a life and create mutual understanding between peoples from different worlds. A fascinating historical romance.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Monsoon Books Pte. Ltd. (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 287)
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Liz
Mar 27, 2014 Liz rated it liked it
I liked this book. The history of Singapore is somewhat fascinating to me and I really enjoyed how the author fitted real life characters of Singapore's past into the body of the story.

I liked the two main characters very much but I was a little frustrated with Charlotte that she kept a secret from Zhen. I live in a different era therefore I do not realise the struggles people went through due to racial differences. I felt the author handled these with great respect and simplicity - laying it o
...more
Cath
Sep 30, 2012 Cath rated it liked it
Shelves: book-group
I had never heard of this book before it came up at book club, so knew nothing about it. I downloaded it to my kindle and started straight away, without reading any 'blurb'. I love to start a book in this way, as I like not having any preconceived ideas about whether I'm going to enjoy it or not.
With this in mind, I found myself confused about the date in which it was set, so I had to read up on this before I could continue.
Set in the Singapore of the 1830s, the story follows Charlotte and Zhen
...more
Kathy Chung
Jun 27, 2016 Kathy Chung rated it really liked it
as more or less in the synopsis -> ang moh lady come Singapore. China man come Singapore. love/lust at first sight. End up being together . hey...wait..seems the fella got earmarked by rich fella to be his son-in-law Man marries the rich man's daughter. An unexpected first night . Ang Moh lady broken heart and sail away with a secret...

that was the short version. but the full version is much better. can see that the author had done tonnes of research on Singapore, Malacca and Batavia. Her des
...more
Nancy
Sep 28, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it
Interesting-enough read. I forced myself through it because of the historical and cultural perspectives of Singapore. If I didn't live in Singapore, I am not sure that I would have liked it as much.
Sam Still Reading
Mar 18, 2012 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Singaporean history
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: bought in Singapore
When I’m away from home, I like to browse bookshops. I like to look at the different covers of books released overseas and I also like to discover new, local authors that I wouldn’t be exposed to at home. The Red Thread is the result of one of these browsings at Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City, Singapore. (If this bookstore was a man, I’d marry it. It is fantastic, crammed with all sorts of subjects and section on local authors. But I digress).

Dawn Farnham was born in England but grew up locally in Per
...more
Jeani
Jun 18, 2015 Jeani rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads, fiction
This is a story of rough and tumble 1860s Singapore. Scottish Charlotte and Chinese Zhen connect and sparks fly. The setting and history of the story are based on a historical reality that makes this an interesting read. Underlying Charlotte and Zhen's separate educations about their new home is a hot, unheard-of romance. This is an interesting way to learn about Singapore's history.
Gill Schell
Feb 06, 2016 Gill Schell rated it it was ok
When you hear the author talk about this book, you'll want to rush out and buy it. I was really disappointed though. The plot was really weak and large paragraphs sounded as though they had been lifted out of a museum guide book(the author is a guide in one of the museums in Singapore).
Cari
Feb 26, 2014 Cari rated it really liked it
Reading about historical Singapore was as much of a draw for me as the desire to find out what happens to the characters. The images of early SG were intriguing knowing how the city is laid out now and also how the different ethnic groups all interact. Some of the racy scenes were unexpected. I now know there are other books by Farnham that continue the story and will likely try to find them. For those interested in Singapore history, here is a romantic tale of unlikely, and quite steamy, love s ...more
Hwee Goh
Oct 07, 2013 Hwee Goh rated it liked it
If you are into Singapore and you are into historical fiction, this is a book for you. It's the first I have read ever of a love story set in Singapore in the 1830s. This means Coleman of Coleman Street, Balestier and Whampoa are alive in this fictitious story quite beautifully imagined by Farnham. It attempts to be lyrical as well, often dipping into poetry, if you like that sort of thing. Mind you, it gets rather steamy in the last quarter of the book. It took me a while to get through this, i ...more
Andrea InCoorparoo
Singapore in the 1830's was a wild town with an amazing mix of traditional cultures. The time and place are described thoroughly in this book. For example, there is a whole chapter about Charlotte's walk from the English colonial area through to Chinatown. If you live in Singapore, I imagine this history would be fascinating. Also, I have recently been on holiday in Singapore, staying in Chinatown, and I like to read fiction set in places I have visited - so I enjoyed it too.
Stephanie
Dec 20, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Great historical information re Singapore, a bit too much into the love story though.
Suzi
Jul 10, 2014 Suzi rated it really liked it
It is better than a three, maybe not quite a big four... but fun read...
Louise
Feb 27, 2015 Louise rated it liked it
I'm not one for romance novels which is essentially what this book is (and it gets worse in volume 2). But if you live or have lived in Singapore it's worth a read just for the history of early SG. Quite fascinating from that aspect.
Deanna Shaw
Oct 23, 2014 Deanna Shaw rated it liked it
The history about Singapore was good. I like all the details the author gave about the places and people. A little too much detail about the sex. I could have done without some of that detail. Overall, a good read.
Chaundra
Mar 27, 2015 Chaundra rated it it was ok
This book should be getting 1 star because it is barely passable as chick lit let alone literature - but for the fact that despite ALL its flaws (super clunky prose, horrible racial stereotypes, badly incorporated poetry) I actually enjoyed it. The sex scenes were actually not too badly done and the characters were endearing on a slightly more than superficial level. And it's set in a city and time that I really enjoy. Still, I'll have no problem avoiding the rest of the series.
Zareth Lim
Nov 24, 2012 Zareth Lim rated it liked it
Dawn Farnham's portrayal of Singapore during its time as a newly established trading post is vivid and realistic. Her descriptions of the different races residing and trading in Singapore, their customs, cuisine and lifestyles are painstakingly detailed and breathtaking. As such, Farnham's novel weaves a rich tapestry of life in 1830s Singapore.
Sandy
Jun 27, 2008 Sandy rated it liked it
Beautifully written, and very interesting culturally, but somehow it didn't grab me. I found myself liking many of the secondary characters more than the main ones. Warning: there are a lot of very detailed and explicit sexual scenes.
Katarina
Aug 14, 2013 Katarina rated it really liked it
Not a book I couldn't put down but historically interesting and relevant given I currently reside in Singapore. Interesting enough for me to want to read the sequel of the trilogy and apparently there is a fourth book out this year 2013.
Kathy Reid
Jul 23, 2013 Kathy Reid rated it liked it
Although i didnt love this book, it was historically interesting, had a nice romantic understory and two sequels. Perfect holiday reading where you want to be entertained but not have to think too much...
Kat
Jun 22, 2013 Kat rated it liked it
I just finished reading this book, and it did captivate me somewhat, though I found myself skim reading at times, I felt there was a bit too much filler chucked in to give the book more substance.
Greta
Jun 25, 2013 Greta rated it did not like it
I always try and finish books, no matter how bad... but this book is appalling! I could only get half-way through, I just didn't want to read it. Thankfully it was free from iBooks....
Lynda
Jun 30, 2010 Lynda rated it liked it
Hmmm. I think what I liked most about this book was the setting and time -- early in Singapore's history. Otherwise it was pretty good but not great.
Stephanie
Oct 14, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
Great description of Singapore in the early 19th century. Plot was captivating and characters held my interest.
Michele
Apr 03, 2011 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very well written. Cliche story. Interesting tidbits about history of Singapore.
Jean Monroe
Jun 28, 2013 Jean Monroe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a series of books I wanted to continue. Maybe she will!
Zachary
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2016
t
t added it
Jun 13, 2016
Caroline
Caroline marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Heather Murray
Heather Murray rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2016
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