A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

A compassionate tale of family life which goes down as smoothly as your favourite coffee. The Whitshanks have created and live by their own myth. Their iconic house rises like a powerful patriarch - always dominant and ever present over three generations. But beneath its sturdy exterior lies secrets, disquiet - even hate. Anne Tyler excels at stories of the American family and this is one of her best. You really do feel like a fly on the wall.

Extract

There was nothing remarkable about the Whitshanks. None of them was famous. None of them could claim exceptional intelligence. and in looks, they were no more than average. Their leaness was the rawboned kind, not the lithe, elastic slenderness of people in magazine ads, and something a little too sharp in their faces suggested that while they themselves were eating just fine, perhaps their forefathers had not ....

But like most families, they imagined they were special. They took great pride, for instance, in their fix-it skills. Calling in a repairman - even one of their own employees - was looked upon as a sign of defeat. All of them had inherited Junior's allergy to ostentation, and all of them were convinced that they had better taste than the rest of the world.

Parallels
  • How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
  • A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

Books with similar mood

Skinjob

Bruce McCabe

Sweets from Morocco

Jo Verity

No Christian Grave

Edmund Power

Burned

Thomas Enger

Small Wars

Sadie Jones

Last Night on Earth

Kevin Maher

The Frozen Dead

Bernard Minier

Blood-Drenched Beard

Daniel Galera

In Times of Fading Light

Eugen Ruge

Island of Wings

Karin Altenberg

The Golden Door

Kerry Jamieson

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

Let's Twist Again

Leo Cullen

The Memory Game

Nicci French

The Western Wind

Samantha Harvey

The Sealwoman's Gift

Sally Magnussen

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke

Upstairs in the Tent

Cynthia Rogerson

The Bullet Trick

Louise Welsh

The Words in my Hand

Guinevere Glasfurd

Foal's Bread

Gillian Mears

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

Three of a Kind

Alison Norrington

SuperJack

Adam Baron

A Crying Shame

Renate Dorrestein

Gone for Good

Harlan Coben

The Painter

Will Davenport

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

Ann Weisgarber

The Flame Throwers

Rachel Kushner

Someone Else's Skin

Sarah Hilary

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston

A Son of War

Melvyn Bragg

I Know This Much is True

Wally Lamb

Blackwater

Kerstin Ekman

Elmet

Fiona Mozley

Whispers Through a Megaphone

Rachel Elliot

Shelter

Frances Greenslade

Breathing on Glass

Jennifer Cryer

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

Anton Disclafani

Stranded

Emily Barr

The Facility

Simon Lelic

Ordinary Thunderstorms

William Boyd

Conditions of Faith

Alex Miller

Family Matters

Rohinton Mistry

Light Falling on Bamboo

Lawrence Scott

Into a Raging Blaze

Andreas Norman

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

Joel Dicker