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The Resource A spool of blue thread : a novel, Anne Tyler

A spool of blue thread : a novel, Anne Tyler

Label
A spool of blue thread : a novel
Title
A spool of blue thread
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Anne Tyler
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon." This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family--their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog--is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red's father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • LibraryReads Favorites, 2015.
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2015.
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2015.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In her twentieth gleaming novel, Tyler is as fleet and graceful as a skater, her prose as transparent as ice, dazzling qualities that distract us, initially, from just how profoundly dimensional a tale this is. We get swept up in the spin of conversations, the slipstream of consciousness, and the glide and dip of domestic life, then feel the sting of Tyler’s quick and cutting insights into unjust assumptions about class, gender, age, and race. Abby and Red Whitshank worry about Denny, their ever-mysterious son. Their other, more accountable grown offspring live nearby with their children, and Jeannie and the son nicknamed “Stem” work for Red, who carried forward his father Junior’s construction company. Retired social worker Abby and Red still live in the handsome, obsessively well-constructed house Junior built for a wealthy client, then slyly managed to make his own. During chaotic family gatherings, disorienting crises, and abrupt domestic reconfigurations (all subtly laced with motifs of blue and Wizard of Oz allusions), simmering resentments and secrets bubble up. Tyler then whirls back in time to tell Abby’s story and, most strikingly, that of Linnie Mae, her deceptively serene mother-in-law. Junior’s fervent respect for wood and craftsmanship reflects Tyler’s long dedication to language and story, an artistic practice made perfect in this charming, funny, and shrewd novel of the paradoxes of self, family, and home. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A substantial first printing, national media appearances, and an expansive online campaign will steer readers to the latest from beloved, best-selling novelist Tyler. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 12-01-2014) (Booklist, vol 111, number 7, p23)
  • /*LibraryReads Favorite*/ In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks–a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book's timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale. -- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA. (LibraryReads, February 2015)
  • Thoroughly enjoyable but incohesive, Tyler’s latest chronicles the Whitshank family through several generations in Baltimore, Md. The narrative initially tackles the mounting tensions among the grown Whitshank siblings as their aging parents, Red and Abby, need looking after. The youngest son, Stem, adopted as a toddler, moves back into the family house to help care for Abby, who has spells of forgetfulness. This causes resentment in Denny, the family’s eldest biological son, who is capricious and has been known to drift in and out of their lives. As matters come to a head in Abby’s life and the lives of her children, the story suddenly switches to an in-depth exploration of Red’s parents and Red and Abby’s courtship, delving into Whitshank family lore. The interlude proves jarring for the reader, who at this point has invested plenty of interest in the siblings. Despite this, Tyler does tie these sections together, showing once again that she’s a gifted and engrossing storyteller. Announced first printing of 125,000 copies. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed December 1, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 50, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Three generations of Whitshanks have lived in the family home in Baltimore since the 1920s, in which they have loved, squabbled, protected secrets, had children, and, in some cases, led inauthentic lives. Using her signature gifts for brilliant dialog and for intricately framing the complex messiness of parental and spousal relationships, Tyler beautifully untangles the threads that bind and sometimes choke all of them, especially Red and Abby, the last Whitshank homestead occupants. In 2012, Red and Abby are in their late 70s, and their fractious children rally to the modern dilemma of the sandwich generation—caring for aging resistant parents in their home safely, while raising their own children. VERDICT It's been half a century since Tyler debuted with If Morning Ever Comes , and her writing has lost none of the freshness and timelessness that has earned her countless awards and accolades. Now 73, she continues to dazzle with this multigenerational saga, which glides back and forth in time with humor and heart and a pragmatic wisdom that comforts and instructs. [See Prepub Alert, 8/4/14.]— Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI --Beth Andersen (Reviewed February 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 2, p78)
  • /* Starred Review */ Tyler's 20th novel (The Beginner's Goodbye, 2012, etc.) again centers on family life in Baltimore, still a fresh and compelling subject in the hands of this gifted veteran.She opens in 1994, with Red and Abby Whitshank angsting over a phone call from their 19-year-old son, Denny. In a few sharp pages we get the family dynamic: Red can be critical, Abby can be smothering, and Denny reacts to any criticism by dropping out of sight. But as Part 1 unfolds, primarily from 2012 on, we see Denny has a history of wandering in and out of the Whitshank home on Bouton Road just often enough to keep his family guessing about the jobs and relationships he acquires and discards (" †̃Boring' seemed to be his favorite word") while resenting his siblings' assumption that he can't be relied on. This becomes an increasingly fraught issue after Red has a heart attack and Abby begins to have "mind skips"; Tyler sensitively depicts the conflicts about how to deal with their aging parents among take-charge Amanda, underappreciated Jeannie and low-key Stem, whose unfailing good nature and designation as heir to Whitshank Construction infuriate Denny. A sudden death sends Tyler back in time to explore the truth behind several oft-recounted Whitshank stories, including the day Abby fell in love with Red and the origins of Junior, the patriarch who built the Bouton Road home in 1936. We see a pattern of scheming to appropriate things that belong to others and of slowly recognizing unglamorous, trying true love—but that's only a schematic approximation of the lovely insights Tyler gives us into an ordinary family who, "like most families...imagined they were special." They will be special to readers thanks to the extraordinary richness and delicacy with which Tyler limns complex interactions and mixed feelings familiar to us all and yet marvelously particular to the empathetically rendered members of the Whitshank clan. The texture of everyday experience transmuted into art.(Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10392552
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Tyler, Anne
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Grandparents
  • Older couples
  • Storytelling
  • Families
Target audience
general
Label
A spool of blue thread : a novel, Anne Tyler
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"This is a Borzoi book."
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
357 pages
Isbn
9781101874271
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014045502
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)897346174
Label
A spool of blue thread : a novel, Anne Tyler
Publication
Note
"This is a Borzoi book."
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
357 pages
Isbn
9781101874271
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014045502
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)897346174

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
    84 East Winter Street, Delaware, OH, 43015, US
    40.299672 -83.064923
  • Orange BranchBorrow it
    7171 Gooding Blvd., Delaware, OH, 43015, US
    40.190037 -83.027387
  • Ostrander BranchBorrow it
    75 North Fourth Street, Ostrander, OH, 43061, US
    40.267330 -83.216989
  • Powell BranchBorrow it
    460 South Liberty Street, Powell, OH, 43065, US
    40.149379 -83.073659
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