Friday, February 6, 2015

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

In this beautifully written novel, four generations of one family live, love, fight, and much more all under the same, solidly built roof; it's the story of a family and the story of a house.

Great-grandfather Junior built the house in Baltimore as a craftsman working for a wealthy family, but it was always his house and soon the other family moved and sold it to him. Grandpa Red grew up in the house, and raised his kids there with his wife Linnie. Now oldest son Stem, his wife, and their children have temporarily moved in to "help" his aging parents.

Tyler's got a Pulitzer Prize medal, and it's easy to see why with luminous storytelling and gorgeous writing like this. This is a very real family with often-told stories, sadness and laughter, petty annoyances, and a few skeletons in the closet. Not much happens, plot-wise - there's no big mystery or hurdle to overcome. It's more about their relationships with one another, and their family legacy in the big old house.

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