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A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler, read for library book group.

Anne Tyler is good at telling family stories. She'll be telling you the story from one person's point of view, and it all makes sense, and then she takes a step to the left, and maybe it's just a new perspective or maybe there is an enormous thing right there, that the previous perspective overlooked, but everything looks different from here. Not that anyone was lying. It makes sense that the thing that looks so big from here seemed insignificant from over there. Everybody's story makes sense, but they each make a different sense.

Tyler also likes telling stories in which there are two kinds of people in the world. In this world, they are the people who set their heart on one thing and never give up, even if it turns out to be a disappointment, and the people who can never settle to any one thing. It's a lot of work to be in relationship with people who are so fundamentally different. Even when everyone is trying to be kind, and fair, and honest, it's a lot of work.

One member of my book group said it was an Oprah's Book Club-type book, which I guess is true; it provides an easy path to talk about questions like, how do you feel about forgiveness? Or, what do you do with an important truth that you know is going to hurt?


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