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A Spool of Blue Thread

por Anne Tyler

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,0232064,452 (3.58)318
"From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author--now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career--a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family's life. "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"--… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porsherlome1, MaureenONeill, biblioteca privada, FriendsIPL, amandamunroe, onebookish, Shugsdite, rchbookit, MichelleBurge
  1. 30
    Dear Life por Alice Munro (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books focus on ordinary lives and families with a strong sense of place. Both are written by a master at the top of her game.
  2. 10
    Some Luck por Jane Smiley (cat.crocodile)
  3. 10
    The Stone Angel por Margaret Laurence (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These character-driven novels sensitively present elderly protagonists whose memories unfold to reveal the charms and struggles of family life. Both have a strong sense of place: Baltimore in A Spool of Blue Thread; Manitoba in The Stone Angel.… (mais)
  4. 10
    Tara Road por Maeve Binchy (thea-block)
    thea-block: Common themes and tones run throughout both stories: home-town feel; descriptions of the lifetimes of somewhat ordinary/somewhat extraordinary people; love and loss, regret and gratefulness, parents and children.
  5. 00
    Someone por Alice McDermott (zhejw)
  6. 00
    The Chaperone por Laura Moriarty (thea-block)
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Inglês (201)  Holandês (2)  Francês (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (205)
Mostrando 1-5 de 205 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A slow starter. Divided into different parts that gave back stories to some of the main characters at different stages of their lives. Kirkus: 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 lovebut 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.
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
Just ok.

Easily readable but ultimately unsatisfying. Secrets are revealed throughout the book and all of them served to make the story less pleasant for me.

I felt sad for all of these people when it ended.
( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
more of a peering in book than a true story, I enjoyed it but the end was eh. ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
Not her best. I got halfway through, then accidentally left it on a plane and never bothered getting a replacement.
  skavlanj | Dec 18, 2023 |
I love a family saga, and Anne Tyler excels in this genre. The more dysfunctional the family the better. So I had high hopes for A Spool of Blue Thread, even more so because of the prize nominations it earned back in 2015. The book delivered in some ways, and fell short in others.

The first half of the book is the story of Abby and Red, and their adult children. Both parents are showing signs of age, cognitively and physically. Their children–2 daughters and 2 sons–are justifiably concerned and everyone plays a part in looking out for them. Even their son Denny, who has a habit of coming in and out of their lives, moves into their house and shares duties with his brother Stem. There’s a lot going on in this family, borne of good intentions, poor communications and unmet expectations. They seem to be just barely holding things together when suddenly a major event turns their world upside down.

At that point, Tyler takes the narrative back in time, first telling the story of Abby and Red’s early days as a couple, and then the story of Red’s parents. These were interesting character studies in their own right, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the present-day family. When Tyler finally returned to them, it was more of a denouement which resolved a few questions but left much of the family’s future uncertain. In the end, I was left wanting more from this novel. ( )
  lauralkeet | Nov 6, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 205 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Readers anticipating an easy “domestic” novel will be terrifically surprised...Tyler’s genius as a novelist involves her ability to withhold moral judgment of her characters.....Tyler is in full command of her scenes and her characters, grounding her reader in time and space in every sequence of this tightly written and highly readable novel. .....Breaking with a conventional linear structure, the final and most compelling chapters belong to Abby and relay the series of events that led to her falling in love with Red, a story that exists only in Abby’s memory, told here to the reader. The discoveries in these final pages are likely to force readers to reflect back on the earlier chapters and view them in an entirely new — and much darker — light. Here we see the truth about every love story: It was merely an accident of chance.
 
Readers of any age should have no trouble relating to Abby's complaint that "the trouble with dying ... is that you don't get to see how everything turns out. You won't know the ending." Her daughter protests, "But, Mom, there is no ending." To which Abby replies, "Well, I know that." And then Tyler adds the unspoken kicker her fans have come to look for: "In theory." We can only hope that Tyler will continue spooling out her colorful Baltimore tales for a long time to come.
adicionada por vancouverdeb | editarNPR
 
Now 73, Tyler has hinted that this might be her last novel. If so, she may not have ended with a masterpiece, but she has given us plenty of reminders of her lavish strengths: the quiet authority of her prose; the ultimately persuasive belief that a kindly eye is not necessarily a dishonest one; and perhaps above all, the fact that, 50 years after she started, she still gives us a better sense than almost anyone else of what it’s like to be part of a family – which for most of us also means a better sense than almost anyone else of what it’s like to be alive.

And if all that’s not enough to earn a top-table place, then maybe it’s time to rethink the criteria for qualification.
 


Indeed, very little happens in her books. Characters get caught up in repetitive, dead-end conversations which merely fill the gaps, and where silence, existentialist terror and a fear of death continually lingers.

But in this passing of time — where seasons change, flowers wither, then bloom again, people marry, babies are born and the elderly die slowly with dignity — Tyler then weighs in with her own subtle commentary as a narrator who exudes tremendous skill and precision.

It is in these details that she attempts to convey truth, meaning and esthetic beauty. And Tyler’s narrative is a brilliant testament to why the novel still provides an enormously important role in our culture, allowing us to capture the little bits of humanity that somehow seem to bypass us in the real world. ...A Spool of Blue Thread primarily focuses on domestic dreams and disputes, daily ceremonial acts and relationships. Love, loss, and death are about the only certainties the author can guarantee. Family is all we have, Tyler’s prose seems to suggest.
 
Tyler is in the top rank of American writers, and moments in this novel have an affinity with Canada’s Alice Munro too. But what she has that neither Robinson nor Munro possess to the same degree is an irrepressible sense of the comedy beneath even the most melancholy surface – or sometimes peeking just above it – in human affairs.

Tyler is good on irony too....Tyler is sensitive to the tragicomedy of old age and its indignities. Her writing is characterised by an amused, sweeping tolerance that acknowledges imperfection at all ages. ..Tyler writes with witty economy..It takes organised wit to write about human muddle as Tyler does, without once losing our attention or the narrative’s spool of blue thread.
 

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Anne Tylerautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Farr, KimberlyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Late one July evening in 1994, Red and Abby Whitshank had a phone call from their son Denny.
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And then that clear-eyed, calm-faced boy would shine forth from Red's sags and wrinkles, from his crumpled eyelids and hollowed cheeks and the two deep crevices bracketing his mouth and just his general obtuseness, his stubbornness, his infuriating belief that simple, cold logic could solve all of life's problems, and she would feel unspeakably lucky to have ended up with him. (p. 166)
"There, there," Nora told her. "This will get easier, I promise. God gives us never more than we can handle." Jeannie only cried harder. "Actually, that's not true," Denny said in an informative tone of voice. He was leaning back against the fridge with his arms folded. Nora glanced at him, still smoothing Jeannie's shoulder. "He gives people more than they can handle every day of the year," Denny told her. "Half the world is walking around just... destroyed, most of the time." (p. 175)
And meanwhile Linnie Mae was heading up the walk with her spine very straight and her hat level, all innocent and carefree. Not even a glance backward to find out how he was taking this. Why had he worried for one second about abandoning her at the train station? She would have done just fine without him! She would do just fine anywhere. (p. 337)
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"From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author--now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career--a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family's life. "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"--

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