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A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler
2015, 358 p.

This novel covers several generations of the Whit shank family. The mother Abby, a social worker, is at the heart of the story. She is married to Red, who works in construction. Red and Abby have two daughters and two sons. They are generally a happy family, although the older boy, Denny, never really seems to fit in. Now in her 70s, Abby is getting forgetful, while Red is going deaf, and there are concerns about whether they can continue to live independently. The family house in Baltimore is a character in itself. It was built by Red’s father, Junior, for his wife, Linnie Mae. It is through the house that the reader learns about Abby’s youth and her history. Anne Tyler masterly evokes the atmosphere of family relationships and all the happiness, pressures, expectations and secrets that go with them, making this book a pleasure to read.


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