all of the books I have read by Anne Tyler, this is a book about
ordinary people and the ordinary things that happen to them. There is
no suspense or intrigue beyond the suspense and intrigue that exists
in the ordinary, everyday situation. And yet, in spite of the book’s
ordinariness (or perhaps because of it) the reader is held captive,
becoming part of the family described on the pages, wanting to know
Spool of Blue Thread
tells the story of Red and
Abby Whitshank and their four children. Part of the story is told in
the present tense, part is told as flashbacks to when Red and Abby
were younger versions of themselves. Everything that happens in the
book is completely possible, and it is this factor that grabs the
reader’s attention. Situations and problems are all recognizable,
and as a result it is easy for the reader to become part of what is
book, like all Anne Tyler’s books, is well written. The only
criticism I would make is that it may
be just a little too long.
interest was definitely retained until the three-quarter mark when,
like the spool of thread it is describing, the book seemed to unwind.
The remaining quarter was still worth reading, but there was a
feeling of having already passed the finishing post.