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A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Anne Tyler

Narrated By: Kimberly Farr

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: February 2015

Duration: 13 hours 19 minutes


Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 

“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.

Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.


  • Jeremiah D

    I strongly prefer to read over listening to a book. However, when I started reading Blue Spool of Thread for a book club, I found that I cared so little about the self-involved, melodramatic characters, that the only way I could ever finish it was to listen during commutes. Early in the book, the author spends several paragraphs emphasizing that there is nothing at all remarkable or unique about the Whitshank family this book revolves around. This is true, and, for the life of me, I can't understand why a talented writer like Anne Tyler would spend so much ink telling their story.

  • Liza

    I have no clue how this book was Man Booker Prize Nominee (2015). It is so boring, as boring as The Interestings. The family saga, of a vain arrogant family, is just super boring. The writing style, which reminded me an immature teenage writing, included way too many details which were irrelevant and just ink consuming. And the dialogs were so shallow. Skip skip skip. Zero stars and I feel generous.

  • Deanna Ball

    Narrator was so good. I enjoyed the writing style so much I added other books by this author to my wish list.

  • Erica Tarver

    Cute story. It makes you think how cool it would be to be able to glimpse over generations of our family and see how they came to be. The stories that are never told exactly how they happen, the stories and family that gets forgotten after 2 or 3 generations and history becomes lost. I really like how the story was laid out. Great narrator. She made it pleasant to listen to. That's a key thing I look for in audio no matter how great the book is.

  • Loretta Simonet

    Wonderful story. The characters really draw you in. I loved the attention to detail. And the reader was phenomenal! There is a lot of dialogue in this story and the reader made it come alive with distinctly different voices for each character. It was much better than if I would have read the book!

Spool of Blue Thread: A novel

by Anne Tyler

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Spool of Blue Thread: A novel, Anne Tyler
Spool of Blue Thread: A novel, Anne Tyler
This title is due for release on February 10, 2015.

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This title is due for release on February 10, 2015
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