Prolific writer Anne Tyler does it again in her latest novel,A Spool of Blue Thread. Tyler invites us to enter the lives of a very ordinary family. Abby and Red are at a point in their lives for reflecting on how they fell in love and how their families came to settle in this town.
Through Abby we meet the couple’s children and grandchildren, neighbors and friends. They live in a town where everyone knows and has a connection to everyone else. This family is like every other, and yet in their ordinariness, they are extraordinary. It is a family, says one of the characters, which “has a talent for pretending that everything is fine.”
Like a spool of thread, Tyler rolls out the lives of three generations around classic themes of envy, unspoken pasts, patience, and love. The everyday details jump off the page: a staircase, a door, a driveway, a swing. If the novel had a color it would of course be blue—“a pale deep summer blue,” “a Mediterranean blue,” “a middley blue,” the “the unreal blue of a Noxzema jar.” A great summer read. (Knopf)