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A Spool of Blue Thread
by Anne Tyler


Overview -

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND USA TODAY - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - NPR - Chicago Tribune - St.  Read more...


 
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More About A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
 
 
 
Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND USA TODAY - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - NPR - Chicago Tribune - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - The Telegraph - BookPage
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-It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . . . - This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red's parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor.
Praise for A Spool of Blue Thread
-An act of literary enchantment . . . Anne] Tyler remains among the best chroniclers of family life this country has ever produced.---The Washington Post

-Quintessential Anne Tyler, as well as quintessential American comedy . . . She] has a knack for turning sitcom situations into something far deeper and more moving.---The New York Times Book Review
-By my count I've now reviewed around fifty books for USA Today. I've never given any of them four stars until today: to A Spool of Blue Thread, the masterful twentieth novel by Anne Tyler.---USA Today

-By the end of this deeply beguiling novel, we come to know a reality entirely different from the one at the start.---O: The Oprah Magazine
-Well-crafted, utterly absorbing and compelling . . . probably the best novel you will read all year.---Chicago Tribune
-A miracle of sorts . . . tender, touching and funny . . . an] understated masterpiece.---Associated Press

-Exploring the] dichotomy--the imperfections that reside within a polished exterior--is Tyler's specialty, and her latest generation-spanning work accomplishes just that, masterfully and monumentally.---Elle
-The story of any family is told through the prism of time. And no storyteller compares to Tyler when it comes to unspooling those tales.---St. Louis Post-Dispatch
-Vintage Anne Tyler . . . The Whitshanks are] rendered with such immediacy and texture that they might be our next-door neighbors.---Los Angeles Times
-The magic of Tyler's novels is that] you imagine these characters carrying on, muddling through, enduring the necessary sorrows and quiet joys of their lives somewhere beyond the page.---The Seattle Times
-The sort of novel that's hard to disentangle yourself from. Warm, charming and emotionally radiant, it surely must be counted as among Tyler's best.---The Miami Herald
-Prose so polished it practically glows on the page.---Houston Chronicle


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780553394399
  • ISBN-10: 0553394398
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 384
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Sagas
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
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Book Clubs: Scout comes home

Harper Lee’s second published novel, Go Set a Watchman, is available in paperback this month after igniting considerable controversy—and record-setting sales—when it was released in hardcover last year. The recently discovered novel offers an unsettling portrait of the Finch family, whom readers first met in Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Written in the mid-1950s and simmering with the racial and political tensions of that time, Go Set a Watchman portrays Jean Louise Finch (aka Scout) as a 26-year-old who has come back to Maycomb, Alabama, from New York City to visit her father, Atticus. The return home proves to be a melancholy affair, as Jean Louise makes troubling discoveries about her family, community and the people she loves the most. As the past floods into the present, and Jean Louise looks back on her childhood, she finds herself questioning the truths and beliefs that provided the foundation for her life. Reading groups will find much to discuss in Lee’s story of a young woman struggling to make sense of a world in flux.

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A mesmerizing blend of image and text, Sally Mann’s memoir, Hold Still, is in a class by itself. In this luminous, forthright narrative, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the acclaimed photographer shares the story of her Southern childhood, tracks her evolution as an artist and looks back on her experiences as a wife and mother of three. From the dramatic accident that almost killed her young son, Emmett, to the uproar caused by the photographs of her children in the book Immediate Family (1992), Mann provides insights into her personal life and her aesthetic, which are tightly intertwined. Punctuating Mann’s fluid narration are her own arresting images—photographs of her homestead in Virginia, family portraits old and new and scenes of the South. As precisely composed as one of her photos, this intimate memoir is a must-read for Mann’s many fans and a work that’s sure to inspire up-and-coming creatives, no matter the medium. Filled with quotes, notes, letters and other ephemera, it’s a fascinating scrapbook from the life of an elusive artist.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Beloved author Anne Tyler offers another poignant, true-to-life domestic drama in A Spool of Blue Thread. Spanning seven decades, this richly detailed novel tells the story of the Whitshank family, whose center is 72-year-old Abby. Married to Red, with whom she has raised four children, Abby looks back on the early days of her romance with him in the late 1950s, before they moved into their Baltimore home, a large, rambling house that seems to take on a life of its own as the novel unfolds. In this compelling family epic, readers will find many of the qualities they’ve come to treasure in Tyler’s work—a sense of compassion, a flair for comedy and an unforgettable cast of characters that includes college-dropout Denny, the Whitshanks’ directionless son. Tyler’s 20th novel is the work of a writer at the height of her powers. 

 

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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