From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life.
Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.
His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets iswell, something quite different.
We all know a Liam. In fact, there may be a little of Liam in each of us. Which is why Anne Tylers lovely novel resonates so deeply.
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"By the end of the novel, the particulars of Liam's life really haven't changed that much, but he is utterly transformed. And so will be the reader." - Kirkus Reviews
"Only Tyler could write such a gently hilarious and wise comedy of obliviousness and discovery." - Booklist
"Starred Review. Tyler's gift is to make the reader empathize with this flawed but decent man..." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Another winning effort by Tyler; for readers of Reynolds Price's The Promise of Rest and early Tyler novels such as Dinner at Homesick Restaurant." - Library Journal
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Anne Tyler's 50 Year Writing Career
In March 2013, Anne Tyler announced the title of her upcoming novel in an interview with the BBC. She also noted that she didn't want to finish another novel - not even this one. She described the book as a "sprawling family saga," which starts with the present generation and then moves back, one generation at a time. Fortunately, she realized she was only interested in three generations. Before this revelation, she figured A Spool of Blue Thread could go on long enough that she might die before its publication! That way she wouldn't have the hassle of the editing, polishing, promoting and worrying if the book was any good or not.
This sounds like the pressure of thinking up something new and original, combined with her obvious penchant for ...
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