A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread

Book - 2015
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Random House, Inc.

“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. 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, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.

Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work,A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.



Baker & Taylor
"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 thehouse 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"--

Baker
& Taylor

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 shared decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets. Reading-group guide available. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons. 125,000 first printing.
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.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101874271
1101874279
Branch Call Number: FIC TYLER
Characteristics: 357 pages ;,25 cm

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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 shared decades of marriage impacted by children and long-held secrets.


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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.

c
cherstaite
Apr 19, 2017

I liked this book. I didn't like most of the characters but then I don't think the writer did either.
She did throw in one with whom I could associate and I do thank her for that.

I've known and heard of families like the Whitshanks....one of my children married into one once. Thank god I wasn't usually invited to the gatherings.

I like Anne Tyler's writing. Sometimes one just needs a gently moving family story without murder and mahem and guns and goblins

b
becker
Sep 08, 2016

This is a completely character driven book. If you are someone who wants some action in your reading, this book may not be for you. If you are someone who appreciates well developed characters, then place your hold now. This is a very nice story that unfolds gently through the everyday comings and goings of the Whitshank family. I became quite attached to this family by the end of the book. A very comforting read.

o
o016800161
Jul 25, 2016

This was my first Anne Tyler book. I really enjoyed the dysfunctional family!

d
daniela1975
Jun 02, 2016

I did not get half way through this book. I lost interest in the first few chapters. I can not recommend it to anyone.

r
rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

This is a throw-away book by Anne Tyler. (To clarify: DO NOT ACTUALLY THROW AWAY THE BOOK. All I mean is that this is just something she churned out because she was due for another book)

It's just yet another older white middle-class family dynamics/dysfunction story. Not any different or special from all the others on this subject.

I'm sorry to bash on a great like Anne Tyler like this, but I am just not wowed by this book. I expected better from someone with such an impressive and lengthy CV.

l
lolaharvey
Jan 24, 2016

I did not like this book. Neither I recommend to anyone waiting for.
When the book is finish leaves you with a sense of emptiness.

The end is vague and without answering many questions,

d
debiheyn
Jan 06, 2016

It was a good book about dysfunctional families but Nice to see how the bad kid finally figures it out.

JCLKatieS Dec 29, 2015

I couldn't even get a third of the way through this book due to boredom. Nothing happened within the first 115 pages other than the family getting together from time-to-time. I understand that this is a top book for 2015 but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone wanting something interesting.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 22, 2015

A house on Bouton Street in Baltimore sees the lives of the Whitshank family through several generations. Oh, the secrets they've kept.
A bit slow to start, but once you get going it’s classic Tyler with her quirky characters and her making of ordinary lives so extraordinary. So glad her book was short-listed for the Man Booker prize this year!

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rebmartin31
Jun 02, 2016

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

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