Book Reviews

A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler (Book Review)


Title : A Spool of Blue Thread

Author : Anne Tyler

Genre : Adult, Literary Fiction, Drama

Rating : 4.75 stars

Authors who can pick up simple, common day stories/issues, and spin them into a pleasant, surprisingly beautiful story? I like them. I FREAKIN’ LOVE SUCH AUTHORS.

Anne Tyler takes something as normal as the tribulations of day-to-day life of a family, and turns it into this epically beautiful tale of just random things. That is what I so passionately loved in this book : it’s ability to turn ordinary into special. And I do not give away stars that easily, I’ll rate a book I enjoyed 3 stars if I did not find anything special in it; and for me to give this a 4.75, that speaks a LOT about how thoroughly I enjoyed the book.

The story is of the Whitshanks. Four different generations, and a variety of people. First were Junior Whitshank and his wife, Linnie Mae, their children Merrick and Redcliffe, Red’s wife Abby, and their children Amanda, Jeannie, Denny and Stem (Douglas). And their children too. And as alive and glorious as its family members, stands the proud, beautiful house which Junior built with his very own hands. Believe me, the house is a separate character in itself.

The major part of the book focuses on Red and Abby as grandparents, and their life with their children and grandchildren. The rest of the book shows how Linnie Mae and Junior ended up together, and the one day on which Abby fell in love with Red.

The book, on first glance, seems boring and dull. Nothing interesting, people say. I thought so too, and was initially very wary of the book. But once I started off, there was no question about how absolutely amazing the book would be.

It’s gripping, and it pulls you in, making you a part of the Whitshank family and letting you taste what it feels like  to be a Whitshank. And now that I’m thinking about the book, there’s only once conclusion I have as to why the book is so good. It’s definitely not the story (which like I said, is common and simple) and it’s not even the writing (though the easy fluency of the writing is commendable) but in fact, it is the characters. Real, raw, painstakingly accurate characters. You see characters like these in your daily life, and when you read them, you cannot help but imagine them as real, living beings. None of them are perfectionsists, each having their own flaws, but that’s what turns them into a beauty.

All in all, I would totally recommend this book to anyone who wishes to read it. If you’re not someone who’s cut out for fast-paced thrillers, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.



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