A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

R285.00

Tyler is a prolific author and I have only read two of her previous novels: Breathing Lessons and Accidental Tourist – both of which I loved. She is known for her well-realised characters and family sagas and her new book is a no exception. The story of the Witshank family across three generations is told in such a masterful way that even though it’s a story of an average family it becomes a compelling masterpiece. I think this is partly Tyler’s gift. Her characters are complex, likable, quirky and very realistically flawed people who become ‘real in the telling’. Abby and Red are growing old and their children come together at the family home to discuss how they are going to help them. There are rivalries, jealousies and all the expected dysfunction inherent in all families. Tyler writes sensitively, often with gentle humour and insight. Highly recommended.

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This Book is Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. It is Shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015. Sunday Times bestseller. ‘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 also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions – the essential nature of family life.

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