December 8, 2015
A Spool of Blue Thread
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
2015 Random House Audio
Read by Kimberly Farr
Finished on April 25, 2015
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)
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 the house 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.
Depressing. Dull. Disappointing.
These are the words I jotted down as soon as I finished A Spool of Blue Thread nearly eight months ago. Unfortunately, I didn't include any other details (and the plot has all but vanished from my memory), so I can't elaborate on my reaction to the novel.
After reading Noah’s Compass (another Anne Tyler novel) in 2010, I wrote:
I'm not sure why I keep reading Anne Tyler. I've yet to fall in love with anything she's written, but every time she writes something new, I feel compelled to give it a try. I've read (and liked) Ladder of Years , A Patchwork Planet , Back When We Were Grownups , The Amateur Marriage , and Digging To America, but I really can't say I loved any one of those.
I think it’s time to admit that I’m simply not a fan of Anne Tyler’s writing.