Rosie Reviews: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread

Title: A Spool of Blue Thread

Author: Anne Tyler

Publisher: RandomHouse UK, Vintage Publishing

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Source: NetGalley e-book


This book is a bit of a step away from my usual reading habits. There are no deadly quests, no magical powers and no dragons. Instead, there is a family. And there is a house. A Spool of Blue Thread weaves its way through the lives of three generations of the Whitshanks, a perfectly normal family with a number of stories to tell.

This book takes place over the family’s entire time living in a suburban house, and a bit before. The house has been witness to numerous events and had been altered many times to suit those who live within. It jumps between times, going backwards and forward from Red’s parents, who first bought the house, to the him and his children who live there now.

Due to the lack of linearity, the stories were quite self-contained, despite being, pretty much, about the same group of people. This meant that there were a few times where one story ended and I felt myself completely taken out of the book when the second one began in another time. While I was able to get back into the story, it did make the book feel a bit dis-jointed at times.

The characters themselves were really enjoyable. There was enough personality in the family to make them interesting and realistic. Each one was different enough that the when the book time-jumped, you were able to recognise the characters

Final thoughts

More than anything, A Spool of Blue Thread is a lovely book to read. It is comforting to come back to a familiar group of people, in the same place where you left them and, even if you’ve left them for a long period of time, it is easy to slip back into their lives. But that’s the problem – it is very easy to leave this book for a long period of time. While a pleasant read, there is not much to grab you and draw you back in. I could easily step away from the family without a second thought.

Rating: 3/5


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