The Blue Spool of Thread by Anne Tyler

Blue SpoolThis month the Book Club read The Blue Spool of Thread by Anne Tyler.

Here are the reviews:

Paula:  I listened to it, something new to me. I thought it was a very depressing story, so many of the things that occurred, life was so fleeting, so short, what she left behind didn’t matter to anybody. They were throwing her stuff away, not thinking about her or the father, but making sure they themselves were taken care of. I don’t know how much help they were to each other. There was redemption at the end. The one thing I did enjoy, the discussion of the building of these houses, the craftsman ship, the technicalities. The blue paint was unbelievable, the couple never communicating about it, reappearing with the personal stubbornness and anger, almost a caste system of what was important in their lives. Rate: 2.5
Connie: I got about half done, then I read the end. I was listening to it, but I was reading a different book which was really good, and this story was depressing. Things rang true so I didn’t really want to read about this. Like an adult child you worry about it. There were so many things about the book, you can never do it perfectly. In the past I’ve liked her characters, the quirkiness of the character, maybe I’ve outgrown it. I never got to the point of understanding the redemption of this book. It was just you live your life, maybe I missed something. I never figured it out. Rate: I can’t rate it because I didn’t finish it.
Lynne: 50% done. Her other books have the intriguing and strange characters, so I think I get into that with this book and then it gets depressing. You think she’s getting dementia, but then she’s not, I didn’t get it. I will finish it, but the tone is so different.
Gloria: To me the story was about the adopted son versus real son, and it never resolved itself while she was alive. I don’t understand why the author wrote this book, I grew up with an uncle like this. Everyone would get together, celebrate when he showed up. He would leave again and no one would hear from him. I remember the pain my grandmother would feel, my mother and the sisters, they would say why doesn’t he write? So I could see the in the story that there weren’t the connections, when you don’t know where the person is, there is this panic and people ask did I cause this? I don’t think the book did a good job at resolving this issue. The other part was about the house, the home we grew up in, the symbol of that, the whole idea that in the end the home wasn’t going to make anyone happy. There was a lot of family stuff, but it was not well done. I was just waiting and waiting, but it didn’t come together. rate 1.5

Robin: (written as I read!) Okay, I’m nearly at the end of Chapter two and I’m waiting for the story to begin? Tyler is telling and telling, backstory I guess, because nothing but descriptions, with the occasional bit of dialogue so far. So now I am finally on Chapter Four and something is happening. But the story still doesn’t go any where and the main narrator is suddenly killed off. But low and behold, read a bit further and we are back in time, she is alive. A bit further and someone else is the star of the story. Finally to the end, anxiously awaiting the part that is going to tie it all together AND explain the mystery of the introductory scene’s phone call….but…drum roll….it never happens. I usually have nothing but admiration for Tyler’s stories, but nope, not this one. Rate:1.5

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