A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author--now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career--a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family's life. "It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon." This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family--their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog--is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red's father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101874271
Characteristics: 357 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

July 2017 "The changing needs of aging parents impact a family gathering during which Abby Whitshank relates how her husband and she fell in love during the summer of 1959 and shares decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets."

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May 25, 2020

This one seems to be either loved or disliked extremely! If you want a thriller,page turner it isn't for you but if an introspective look at the human condition of a three generational family intrestes you, you will likely enjoy it. I found the second half more enjoyable than the first.

Apr 05, 2020

Really enjoyed this book, so many life experiences that alot of us can relate to.

TSCPL_Miranda Oct 28, 2019

I really enjoyed reading this book up until the last 15% or so, but I wasn't really happy with how it ended. After I rated it 3 stars, though, I started thinking about some of the quotes that I bookmarked, and how cinematic the story was in my head as I read, and I couldn't quite rate it that low. 3.5. I probably would not reread, but don't regret the read, either.

Mar 29, 2019

This novel was very disappointing, going back and forth on history and current events. So mind boggling. I would not recommend this anyone. YUK

Dec 23, 2018

Prose. A poignant saga all about the full emotional range that we experience as part of a family.
Need to read.

Aug 04, 2018

I lost interest ...read up to about pg 75, ...so, closed it and returned to the library.

DBRL_IdaF Apr 12, 2018

Nobody captures the nuances of family relationships like Anne Tyler.

Red and Abby Whitshank have raised four children in the Baltimore family home built by Red's father. Red also runs the construction company started by his father.

When Red begins to experience trouble with his heart, and Abby develops trouble with her memory, their grown children must make decisions about how best to help. Long-suppressed secrets and rivalries are finally faced as the family copes (not all that well) with the situation.

Tyler does a fabulous job balancing serious issues with the humor of everyday life, while portraying human beings in all of their complicated glory.

Sep 25, 2017

The reference to the title comes at the very end of the book but it is clear what it stands for. The book deals with three generations of Whitshanks and their lives and the upheavals they go through. It starts with Abby and Red and the challenges they face as they age. it is nice to see their family responding and yet the problems ensuing are ones that we can all relate to. The time switching from one era to another makes for interesting reading. The characters in the book are very well sketched. as are the descriptions of the locales.

Jul 31, 2017

Anne Tyler's "Spool of Blue Thread" shouldn't be a page turner, since it's "just" a story of three generations of a family fairly calmly living their lives. Yet I read it in one sitting and mostly loved it. Tyler has a wonderful knack of describing places and people, so that you know you've been there, and know what's coming next, and who these people are. I should have been confused by the time switching, but wasn't. The opening scene, when the middle generation is in middle age, is both heartbreaking and hilarious. It tells us a lot about the child who calls to drop a verbal bomb and then hangs up, and about how each parent reacts. This generation loves each other full-heartedly, but they can fight with each other and easily make up. They have two sons (one informally adopted) and two daughters. Abby, the mother, secretly loves Denny, her youngest, the best, even while his teachers are always calling her, and later when they go months without knowing where he is or what he's up to. Red, the father, runs a construction company he inherited from his father, Junior, who always has to explain there's no Senior. Stem, the adopted youngest, works with Red, and everyone assumes he'll inherit the business. The book moves back and forth in time, to Junior and his wife Linnie Mae, ending with the enigmatic Denny. This is perhaps the third of Tyler's books I've read, and so far it's my favorite. Nobody in it's perfect (except Stem's beautiful, boring wife Nora ), but all are interesting. Reading this is like eavesdropping on your most interesting neighbors.

basilbrynn1 May 08, 2017

Story about a family with the usual ups and downs. Accurately portrayed characters but lost interest 2 thirds of the way in.

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Jun 02, 2016

"'There is no such things as 'too understanding'."


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