Review of ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler

A spool of blue threadAnne Tyler is one of my very favourite authors. She is fabulous at creating narratives about the intricacies of family dynamics, including oddball characters and the complicated ways in which people love each other. So I was eagerly anticipating the paperback release of her latest novel, which at the time I believed was to be her last, although happily it is not.

I often find with Tyler’s novels that I really enjoy reading the book but I’m left disappointed by the ending. This was the case with this book. The novel paints a portrait of the Whitshank family over four generations and the house in which they live. I really liked reading about the modern day family, but I was less interested in the older generation which is the focus of the last third of the book so I found my enjoyment drifted towards the end.

Rather than having a driving narrative plot, it is more a series of vignettes about important moments in the family’s life. I would have preferred if the book had just stayed in the present day and delved more into the motivations and peculiarities of the family members the book portrayed at its beginning, with whom I felt very engaged. However, I cannot deny the quality of Tyler’s writing and her ability to create real multi-layered characters and amusing, touching family situations.

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One thought on “Review of ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler”

  1. I’ve had the same issues with some of Anne Tyler’s endings, but I do always enjoy her writing. I’ll be reading this one with my book group in the spring, and I’m looking forward to it! Somehow, I skipped her last few books, but this should get me back on track.

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