Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015 book 179

Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread
I was excited when my library e-book of this came in, since it made the Booker longlist this morning! But I was kind of left wondering why. It's a perfectly fine book--the story of a mildly dysfunctional family across a couple of generations--and Tyler tells the story well--I definitely wanted to keep reading. It's not earth-shattering though. There are some nice moments--I like the jumping back in time to get at the truth of the family stories--but there's way too much focus on prodigal son Denny, who isn't really that interesting, and next to no attention paid to the family daughters (I did like everything with Stem, though). I guess I appreciate award attention being focused on women writers working in the domestic sphere, as it were, but this one didn't have me jumping up and down in excitement or anything. On the other hand, I historically have been angry about whatever wins the Booker beating my own personal favorites, so who knows. This was pretty good. B/B+.


Christina said...

I think this was a book about matriarchy overall even if it focused heavily on men who considered themselves caretakers. But I also just loved not knowing where the story would go. And the complexity of family and siblings and being glued together no matter what. Denny was not a likable character, but I think that was a good way to set up the story. I loved the whole "the Whitshanks only had 2 stories" thing and the way they thought they appeared to others. Also, Nora is a literary treasure. I would MURDER any future daughter-in-law who dared call me "Mother Martinson."

Alicia K. said...

Maybe the best comment on my blog ever!