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A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread

By Anne Tylerpaperback1 September 2015
$22.99
or 4 payments of $5.75 with Learn more
Booklovers earn $1.10 in rewards
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S FICTION PRIZE A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK


It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer's day in 1959.

The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red's father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red's grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home.

'One of my favourite authors' — Liane Moriarty

'She spins gold' — Elizabeth Buchan

'Anne Tyler has no peer' — Anita Shreve

'Anne Tyler is one of my favourite writers and this is a delicious book' — Rachel Joyce

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Author: Anne Tyler
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • ISBN: 9780099598480
  • Length: 2.9 centimetre
  • Width: 12.9 centimetre
  • Languages: English

RATINGS & REVIEW

28/01/2017 6:50:45 PM - Marianne
funny, moving, thought-provoking and, again, quite brilliant.
“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.
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