Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anne Tyler Still Has It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         It has been years, darlings, since I read an Anne Tyler novel, and I am happy to report that the writer still has it!  "A Spool Of Blue Thread," her twentieth novel, is an engrossing family history of the Whitshanks, Daltons, and other related families, over several generations.  It is not done in a traditional narrative structure, but goes back and forth in time.  And, as in most stories of this type, the problem child turns out to be the most fascinating.

                                         That would be Denny Whitshank, with whom the novel opens and closes.  Denny is easy to relate to, as most families have a problematic member.  But who that is depends on specific individuals. To some of my family members, I am the one, to others, I am not.

                                           At times I felt as if I was in Jane Smiley territory.  I have read more of her, than Ann Tyler.  But Jane details minutiae like no other, whereas Anne digs deep into characters and how they feel.  So character is central to "A Spool Of Blue Thread."  The dynamic between Stem, another Whitshank male, as he relates to the others, and who he actually turns out to be, is one of the many plot threads the author keeps going simultaneously, and with seemingly little effort.  She has been a master of this for years, and it still shows.

                                            Anne Tyler is a writer readers can be counted on.  I cannot wait to read her "Taming Of The Shrew" re-do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            There are no shrews in this novel, darlings!  Just realistic, perfectly imperfect human beings.

                                              Like so many of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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