A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

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BLURB:“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.  (Goodreads.com)

PAGE COUNT: Approx 357. (hardback)

This is the only book I’ve ever read (or can remember recently reading) that didn’t make me anxious, or scared, or angry or any other negative feeling. And although that is sometimes what makes a book better, it is always nice to have a kind of break, and just read something that doesn’t focus on anything too heavy.

This is a completely family based novel, and although is not completely gripping or page turning, it’s very easy to read, doesn’t require too much brain power. If I had liked the plot more, I can imagine it being the kind of book a person would go back to for comfort reading again and again. It’s not that its overly happy, it deals with death and difficult family situations plenty, it just doesn’t take these to the extreme, choosing to focus on the details and storylines interconnecting a group of people. I did spend the majority of this book kind of plodding through it, waiting for some big bombshell to drop and everything to go pear shaped (as I often like in books, slightly sadistic of me I know), but realised towards the end that this was never it’s intention.

I like how Tyler writes, she’s amazing with words and imagery, and I couldn’t help thinking that with the right plot line, she could write a completely gripping book. She unfolds different parts of this family’s life one by one, chapter by chapter, but not in a disjointed way, in a very slick way that you hardly realise it, and by the end I not only had a complete image of this family in my mind, but also all the other nuances that make up a family and the people in it.



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