A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (migrated from bookblogger)

This was one of those books that keep you waiting for something explosive to happen… and waiting… and waiting…  I’ve now finished the book and I’m still waiting!

The story centers around Abby and Red, who are married and aging and their 4 children are trying to help care for them.  There are difficult relationships among the children, particularly with Denny, who is mysterious and has always been “difficult.”   What I did like about the book is that the writing is extremely authentic.  The descriptions of scenes of ordinary life among the family members are so realistic that you feel as though you are in the room with the characters living it.  The dialogue and the actions are very familiar.

Unfortunately, the plot was extremely vague and meandering and did not rise up to anything truly interesting.  There is an event that changes the course of the story, but it is somewhat anticlimactic.  The most potentially interesting character, Denny, ends up being a missed opportunity.  Throughout the book I was waiting to learn more about him but never really did.

I think the author was going for subtlety, but only achieved a lack of substance.  Disappointing!

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