A Spool of Blue Thread: Anne Tyler

2015 Man Booker Prize Shortlistee

2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlistee

Trying to keep up with book posts! I found this book in an Amnesty book shop in the centre of York, having popped in for a browse on a lovely sunny day a couple of weeks ago. The guy serving me complimented my choice, recommending The Accidental Tourist by the same author. Anne Tyler is actually quite an interesting woman – before 2012 she had not given an interview in 40 years! That is a ridiculously long time. Her books are based around Baltimore, where she lives, and focussed upon middle class suburbia.

A Spool of Blue Thread follows four generations of the Whitshank family as they grow around their beautiful house, built by Junior, the first known Whitshank. The first section meets his son Red, and his wife Abby, as their family moves from the 1990s to the twenty first century – meeting the great-grandchildren of the family. The second section travels back to when Abby first fell in love with Red, as a young visitor to the Whitshank household. The final section meets the elusive Junior, explaining how the family came to live in Baltimore and their lack of familial roots, before ending with a movement on from the beloved house, to the next chter in the family’s lives.

This is a beautifully crafted book. The complexities and mysteries of the Whitshank family keep the reader entertained and engaged. However, this is a great book to put down and pick up, or read on an sunny day at the beach or in the park. It is a pleasant book, with suitable amounts of drama. I particularly loved the Whitshank house, it fits perfectly into the centre of the story, as another character almost (a massive cliche, I know).

I would recommend this, especially for anyone looking for a holiday reading.


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