Monday, July 9, 2018
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A Spool of Blue Thread was our book club selection for June. I wasn't quite finished in time for the meeting but finished a day or two later.
This is the story of Red and Abby Whitshank and their family, both the generation before them and then their own children and grandchildren. Red and Abby live in Baltimore in a house that had previously been built and loved by Red's father. The house is the centre of their universe and as much a member of the family as any of their children.
Red and Abby's son Denny has always demanded a lot of their attention and energy, leaving the other children struggling for their parents attention. Denny has never seemed like part of the family, despite his mother's constant attention, or maybe because of that. The others make their way through life, dependably reliable, but always hoping for a bit more attention from their parents, especially their mom.
I found this to be a beautifully written book, but there just isn't a lot of action. The story is full of interesting characters but leaves you with a very unsatisfying ending. We get to read the back story of how Red and Abby met and fell in love, and even how Red's parents met and began their relationship. There's a lot of background given, but not a lot of resolution. You finish the book with nearly as many questions as you have at the beginning.
If you like to finish a book with all your i's dotted and your t's crossed then this isn't the book for you. But if you enjoy a slow moving story with fun and interesting characters then you would probably enjoy this one. Our group was a bit mixed with it, a few didn't finish it and no one raved about it. It's not a page-turner but it is a well-written book.