A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The story of four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been the Whitshank family's anchor.  

"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon ...” This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959.

From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, the Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets.

Book Reviews


Very good read4 star

Very true to life.45


Spool of Blue Thread5 star

One of my many favorite Anne Tyler books!!55


Boring1 star

Tough read. Took me weeks to finish and I can read a book in day.15


Can't decide if I liked this book.3 star

Good or bad? I'm not sure. The author is obviously a talented writer - the story is easy to read and interesting storytelling techniques are used. But, I'm not sure how interesting the story actually was. It is a story of a family struggling with daily life, aging parents, rebellious children, "keeping up with the Jones", and purpose in life. The author starts out in current day, but then in the second and third parts jumps back in time to the main character's parents telling their story. In part four, time shifts back to current day and focuses on the grown child who has been the greatest enigma in the family. The ending reads more like a beginning. I guess I kept waiting for the old and new stories to tie together and go somewhere. The book is done and I'm still waiting... Unless you really like slice of life family stories, then this is not a book I would recommend.35

Perky too

A Spool of Blue Thread4 star

I was sorry and surprised to read so many bad reviews of this book. I found it anything but boring. Tyler's characters are always very homespun, folksy, people next door types. The Whitshanks are no exception. They are all multi-layered people and it's up to the reader to figure them out. I loved the book. I have read all of Tyler's books and although this was not my favorite, I enjoyed watching this family with all their personality quirks, develop and grow....the ups and downs of every day life that we all go through.45

AIS dude

Spool of blue thread1 star

Bought the book because of the authors name and liked the cover. The book never went anywhere. Characters were dull, couldn't find a plot, finally just stopped reading it.15

Lori read

Not worth the time2 star

Nice read with no point very disappointing25


Spool Of Thread1 star

First book that I have not finished in many years. This book was a waste of my time and money.15


Boring1 star

Most boring book I've ever read. So upset I wasted time and money on it15


Pointless2 star

Characters were not interesting and story was boring. It was very hard to finish this book. I put it down after a few hours and only came back and finished it weeks later when I had nothing else to read.25

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