A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread

by Anne Tyler

Paperback(Large Print)

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A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How sad. The magnificent Anne Tyler has never disappointed me....that is, until I read A Spool of Blue Thread. This book is dreary, dark, boring, and left me feeling empty and "blue". Ms Tyler's extraordinary talent usually lies in her uncanny ability to make the mundane relevant, important and interesting. Unfortunately, those talents were not achieved in this book. The potential for captivating and memorable characters was never developed. They were merely cardboard cutouts, lacking depth and motivation and likability. They seemed to be representations of different attributes and beliefs, simple extremes that were never fleshed out and made appealing. It was impossible to an form attachment.....or even like.....any of them. I plowed through the book, hoping it would get better, but it never did. The storyline was depressing and sad and I closed the book's cover not knowing why the characters did what they did. A pointless read and a huge disappointment from a brilliant writer.
CraigMcK More than 1 year ago
This is what I've been waiting for: a great new Anne Tyler novel, the best she's written in quite a while. Though I find her mediocre efforts worth the read, and am never disappointed, this is truly one of her best books. Tyler's characters are quirky and always lovable. Her talent for taking the normal and making it interesting is her greatest attribute. Highly recommend this book. No doubt, Anne Tyler is America's most talented writer.
Aleksa3 More than 1 year ago
.I was so excited to start reading this book. Unfortunately, it was just so boring. It's the type of book I usually buy. I read quite a few chapters hoping something would become a little more interesting, however, it did not. First book I read by Anne Tyler. I may give another one a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. Warm and loving like a close knit family. I have read several Anne Tyler novels and this is in the top tier.The book is funny and touching. The relationship of the husband's parents relationship is comical and memorable. I really enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not as good as her last offerings xxx
crossword69 More than 1 year ago
I see the author's name on the soon to be released list and think...Anne Tyler...a high quality story by a worldwide recognized legend. What a terrible letdown. Such a boring, never-ending pointless story with sallow characters. There was nothing to learn, no characters to empathize with, just a chore to finish reading. I kept hoping. Don't bother with this book. It's hard to reconcile reading her in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring, seems to ramble on a very slow pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really couldn't get into this book and I thought the writing was amateurish. Not at all what I am used to from Anne Tyler. Boring on every level. I stopped half way through because I just couldn't waste anymore time waiting for something to happen to redeem it. Tedious
Livanlearn More than 1 year ago
I read this book & all I can say, is that it was just ok. It was not bad nor was it very good. The last few chapters seemed like a waste of my time.
Getyournoseoutofthatbook More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Anne Tyler's books and loved them all. This multigenerational novel makes me wish ( not for the first time) I could go back and get to know my grandparents and grandparents before them. What very interesting lives they surely lived, as did the characters in this book. But, like the characters in this book, we struggle to even know ourselves, let alone our loved ones. A Spool of Blue Thread is an outstanding saga of family interactions and the lack of understanding of what makes us "us"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring...no point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pleasant read that kept me coming back for more while waiting to see how it all fit together, but it never did for me! Even the "blue thread" moment was so brief I almost forgot it happened! The ending doesn't END - just leaves you wondering about the characters' lives. So maybe that's a good book that remains on your mind, but I like stories to finalize.
DifiNM More than 1 year ago
As with other Anne Tyler novels, "A Spool of Blue Thread" doesn't have a big convoluted plot or a horrendous event. It is the quiet story of several generations of a middle-class family dealing with lifes up and downs. The characters are fully fleshed and believable; it's an easy, enjoyable read.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“There was nothing remarkable about the Whitshanks. None of them was famous. None of them could claim exceptional intelligence. And in looks, they were no more than average…. But like most families, they imagined they were special. They took great pride, for instance, in their fix-it skills… all of them were convinced that they had better taste than the rest of the world…disappointments seemed to escape the family’s notice, though. That was another of their quirks: they had a talent for pretending that everything was fine” A Spool of Blue Thread is the twentieth adult novel by award-winning American author, Anne Tyler. The Whitshank House on Bouton Rd, lovingly, carefully and painstakingly built by Junior Whitshank for Mr. Ernest Brill, was eventually home to Junior, Linnie Mae and their children, Merrick and Redcliffe. Later, Red and Abby brought up their four, Amanda, Jeannie, Denny and Stem, within its walls. It was built for a family and stood the test of time. And here is where the family gathers when Red and Abby begin to cope less well than they always did. The issue of how to manage ageing parents is something common to most families; after their first solution fails, another is decided upon, but frictions arise between siblings when the (sort of) black sheep turns up to help. Old jealousies and frustrations surface, and in the course of events, certain secrets are revealed. Tyler has a singular talent for taking ordinary people doing ordinary things and keeping the reader enthralled and endeared. Her pace is sedate, her descriptive prose, gorgeous, her dialogue, realistic. The narrative is split into four parts: the first tells, from multiple perspectives, of present day events in the Whitshank family, with plenty of references to the immediate (and less immediate) past; the second is from Abby’s viewpoint, and details the day she fell in love with Red; the third gives Junior’s point of view of events surrounding his early encounters with Linnie Mae and the start of their family life; the last, again from several perspectives, describes the present-day leave-taking from the Bouton Rd house. Another novel that is characteristically Anne Tyler: funny, moving, thought-provoking and, again, quite brilliant.
GrammyReading More than 1 year ago
i am giving this review four very good stars not because the book was a dippity do da wonderful story...but because this book was a capsule of life and time in the lives of a family like many others...the whitshanks lived, worked, survived, and thrived on a day to day existence...growing i time and number without realizing that death comes at the end of life...what could easily have been the beginning of the novel pops up in the send half...two thirds almost to the end...and though for me it didn't necessarily tie loose ends together...i appreciated the back story much more than the rest of the book...abby and red were a long term couple...their children represented different parts of their personalities...their children's children were a bit more picturesque but still a shadow in their representation...the author's gift of storytelling made this book worth reading...sometimes you won't like or necessarily care for the characters in a story...but they can represent human life that has to be lived...generations of heartbeats joined together to make a sound....music...rhythms of life....family
60143pbr More than 1 year ago
Strong characters, interesting family. There is usually one black sheep in every story of this type. Same here. But he is a likable one....the story mixes up a bit as it goes back in history to his parents and their life together as a young couple. It was OK...not sorry that I read it but its only an average read in my opinion.
LeliaPiet More than 1 year ago
All families have a history and often times there is more to that account than the storyteller will share. In Anne Tyler’s A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD the history of the Whiteshank clan is much like that of other families you might recognize, neither remarkable nor outrageous. But it is the manner in which Tyler unwinds the secrets and untold truths,  ultimately tying the family members together, that is noteworthy.  One of the novel’s intrigues is that it does not follow a chronological path or even one biographical recount. Many members of the Whiteshank family will relay the events through multigenerational viewpoints. The novel spans the years from early in the Great Depression all the way through to hurricane Sandy in 2012, yet it is Abby and Red Whiteshank that open the story in 1992. Introductions are made through Abby’s observations of each of their children: two girls, two boys (one adopted). Each offspring seemingly successful and well settled (although there is always one black-sheep of the family) in the eyes of neighbors and long time acquaintances. Quickly the years will unfold from that point in time taking the story forward to early in 2012 when Abby’s disappearing spells begin, what she calls her “brain jumping the track” and, although never a cemented fact, appear to be symptoms of dementia. Soon after Abby’s episodes become more prevalent, Red has a heart attack leading the family to call a meeting to determine the safest manner in which to handle the ailing health issues of the elder Whiteshanks. As Abby begins to live more in the past and less in the happenings of her current days, the stories and a few secrets of the Whiteshanks begin to unfurl. Abby recalls the long-standing accounts, going all the way back to Red’s father that have been passed down through the family, as well as a few secrets about her own past she has never shared with anyone.   Junior Whiteshank, the family’s patriarch, began his life in Baltimore Maryland, leaving all his prior family ties and associations in the south. Working diligently and patiently through the years of the Great Depression, he builds his legacy to his family, Whiteshank Construction Company, as well as the family home on Bouton Road.  He is a determined man and is set on raising the status quo of his family.  However, Linnie Mae his wife, has little concern for what others believe of her and her husband. She appears as a simple woman and has no desire to lead others to believe any differently of her. And while she may be Junior’s wife, his first love will be for the house on Bouton Road.  Moving through the novel, an unexpected death will lead to the discovery of the truth behind the solidly laid family accounts. From this point, other members of the Whiteshank family lend their accounts as to how they recall the family history. Some recounts set forth secrets and truths that will be unsettling to family members, testing their faith in one another.  In the end, the strength of the clan will hold them all close together.  Anne Tyler’s novel is a reflection on family and about ideals they often harbor, yet frequently never add up to expectation. The understanding is provided that instead we must  live with unplanned occurrences and wrongs that were never anticipated, whether they are in our own personal lives or within our family unit. The message is clear, however, no situation can unmoor a strong family. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A moving book that unravelled a family in slow motion. I enjoyed it.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I found the constant changes in time and POV irritating. The story seemed pointless. I really wanted to like it and so stuck with it. Now I just feel annoyed at the time I wasted.
sandrabrazier More than 1 year ago
The Whitshanks have their stories. Abby, the matriarch of the family, has a favorite one: the day she fell in love with Red, her husband. This is a close family. But they are not without their problems and challenges. Like any other family, they have the “black sheep” of the family. They also have arguments, jealousies and insecurities. And like every family, they must go through the changes that time brings. Their family history revolves around their family home, lovingly built by Red’s father. I enjoyed reading about the main character, Abby, and about those who came before and after her. However, I did not see much point in the book. There was no real storyline, and it was disjointed, leading nowhere. Yes, there was great character development, but there was little else. I found myself disappointed in this one. I admit it was tender in places and funny in others, but it went nowhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished the book. But it was a struggle. I kept waiting to see how it all tied together. It's the first of her books I've read. Just couldn't get into this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the type of book that you will want to reread! Interesting and thoughtful.
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