There are books that you read and want to keep reading it, as if it should never come to an end. ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ is one such book. It’s a story about us, about our family and our everyday life. The author Anne Tyler has done a fabulous job in terms of her narration and making you feel a part of her story. No wonder it was short-listed for The Man Booker Prize 2015.
Before I proceed with the review, I must inform you that I have not yet finished reading the entire book. There are 465 pages in this book and I have stopped on page 275 with tears rolling down my cheeks, and compelled to share with you that how good this book is. It makes me have no control on my emotions. The way the characters are portrayed and circumstances presented, I just can’t stop feeling about it. You live through its pages. So far the book has kept me hooked and my emotions over-flowing. And of course, I will finish reading the book tonight.
So, the book is about a family with which you can relate so much that it feels it’s almost your story, your own family story. And maybe you will also pick up a character that is like you. Like I could relate to quite a few characters with instances like when one of the children complains that his mother did not give him the much needed attention in her life, which she did but how as children we don’t realise it.
To me one of the other very relatable things in the book was about the family stories that travelled down through the generations. In fact there are popular stories in every family about our grandparents and even their parents that each family member hears them being told and retold any number of times. These are the stories that define a family. Here too in the book, these two stories are the very defining and quintessential for its members.
Later in the book, you learn more about the problems in the family and how each member tries to solve it in their own way. Each character is well defined and you would be able to relate further more with circumstances. The book succeeds in narrating stories of three generation.
At one place when one of the daughters Jeannie cries out saying “Oh, that makes me want to cry” on seeing another family at their beach vacation, it fills my heart with emotion. It certainly reminds me of how I have grown up looking up at my neighbours and how the same changes were seen in their families too. Their mother and father who were young at one time now have grey hair with change in facial muscles. Their kids have grown up as young adults and even their daughters now have husbands, just as my sister and I have. “Well, they’re us, in a way,” is one of the delicate yet painful lines.
Then comes the most touching part in the book. And that’s about how our lives should end with a goodbye. How we all think that we should be attended by someone before leaving this world. But life and death have their strange ways; they come unannounced and not as planned. People leave without saying a final ‘Bye’ to their loved ones.
It’s a light and easy read. You wouldn’t get bored but would want to know more with every flip of the page. I must say that it makes sense for every family to read this book as it will help understand situations and answer the unanswered questions in families.
5 Stars, totally recommended for every kind of reader.