Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

tudor queens series win prizes debuts of the month
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  

Lovereading view...

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015.

A beautiful, long tale of three generations of the Whitshank family and the house they have built and live in. Nothing really happens until the final tragedy and yet it is so full of life, so all embracing, warm and truthful about the highs and lows of relationships it seems as if every page is full of incident. It is a book that defines families and what it means to belong to one. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Chosen as a Richard and Judy Book Club selection Autumn 2015.

One of the Top 10 Lovereading Reader Review Panel Summer Read selections.

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015.

If you like Anne Tyler you might also like to read books by A. D. Miller, Margaret Forster and Anne Fine.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Anne Tyler is the consummate chronicler of ‘ordinary’ life, taking the unremarkable histories of her unexceptional characters and showing, through seemingly insignificant details or moments of greater consequence, the traits and foibles that make us what we are, the events that shape us, and the fates that are common to all of us In her latest novel she gives us the Whitshank family: parents Abby and Red are no longer young, and failing health means their independence is threatened; their children are busy adults with families of their own, but they are nearby and involved – all except the somewhat wayward Denny, who comes and goes, sometimes close to his family, sometimes distant from them, unsure of his path in life. Through reminiscences, backward glances, acute observation of the minutiae of everyday life and its small concerns, Anne Tyler paints a large-scale portrait on a small-scale canvas and does it beautifully.
~ Karen Howlett

Synopsis

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

This book is the Sunday Times Bestseller. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Fiction Prize. 'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...' This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They've all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we see played out the hopes and fears, the rivalries and tensions of families everywhere - the essential nature of family life.


Browse inside this book

Reviews

'Exquisite' The Times

'Tyler writes with an apparent effortlessness which conceals great art. The Whitshank family is tragic, comic, absurd, absorbing -- and lives on its illusions, as every family must. You'll shiver with recognition' -- Helen Dunmore Stylist

'I love Tyler's writing... She writes so beautifully and with such insight. Read her books and she can actually change your view, change how you see the world' -- Judy Finnigan Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. This is Anne Tyler’s sixteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore. In 2012 Anne Tyler was the winner of the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2015

Author

Anne Tyler

More books by Anne Tyler
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...

Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
480 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Family Drama
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099598480

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.

Lynda

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools