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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel - Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread starts slowly, but once the story becomes clear and the characters become people, it takes off. Tyler expertly crafts a family that is both believable and interesting. The dynamics are wonderful, especially those involving Denny, Stem, and Abby. I wanted to stay with these characters through the end. I wanted to understand them completely. I really was invested.


Then midway, Tyler forgets these characters. The story that was really becoming something special is forgotten. Suddenly, the story swells with history and backstory and the lives of characters I had not invested in. Their stories are interesting in their own right, but they weren't the story I had paid admission for. I wanted to get back to Denny, Stem... I wanted to know more about their history. I wanted to know where they were going. Once the continuity is dropped, however, the thread is never really picked up again. I slogged through the rest. By the time I got back to the present, I was too disappointed to really care much what happened to them. There were so few pages left that I knew any resolution would be unsatisfactory.