A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – A NetGalley reviewed book

‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler
I was first introduced to Tyler’s work in my second year at university. Having been a ‘chick lit’ reader up to this point I was bit wary of reading something that was ‘different’ needless to say, I loved it!
‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ is all about a standard US family. There seems nothing controversial, nothing strange just an average group of Americans related by blood. Slowly though, Tyler teases out strands of difference within the group. 
Denny is the first character we meet who does not necessarily fit the cookie cutter mould. Throughout the book he becomes less elusive whilst simultaneously still a mystery. I felt that parts of the book with his character in were like breaths of fresh air. A break from the normality of the Whitshank’s lives.
Throughout the book Stem was portrayed as perfect. The youngest, the sibling who fitted the mould. Stem’s difference is revealed near the end of the novel and I can honestly say it was not something that I had even contemplated. I don’t want to say what his difference is but it made me like Abby and Red a lot more. It made me like him a lot more.
Jennie and Amanda seemed like bit-characters to me. Their only quirk was that they both had husbands called Hugh. This was the only bit I didn’t like about the novel, but I imagine Tyler was being very clever and moving away from a female focus!
The idea of a family not having history was something I didn’t find too odd. The way Tyler reveals that in fact, the Whitshanks were indeed a family with a history, and although not dark or particularly sensational, it made me wonder how much about previous generations of my own family were unspoken about or even unknown. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in the same way that I have enjoyed her others. A twist on an ideal family idea.


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