13. A Spool of Blue Thread (Anne Tyler)

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After reading many tweets about A Spool of Blue Thread, I slowly learned about three generations of the Whitshank family.  It started out with their son, Denny, calling home to share the news that he was gay.  The call was brief, handled poorly by his father and left his mother with many questions.  Although this thread was never really addressed it started the reader towards understanding the challenges and history of this family.  The book was written in sections and told the story of each generation.

Their family home, which had a unique history was central to the story and linked all the generations together.  It was built with attention to detail and quality by the grandfather.   Each generation lived in the home.  History was shared from each time period as the family members all sought to find happiness that inexplicably, they would never quite find.

In the end, the Denny has an epiphany about what was important and was ready to go ‘home’.  I liked the analogy of the thread linking this family together but might have liked a bit more detail about Denny’s private life that he never shared as he popped in and out of life amongst the rest of his family.  The story was a quiet tale of day-to-day family life that was easy to read but not necessarily riveting.

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