A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Spool of Blue Thread


The family tree:

At the top are Junior and Linnie Mae. (Time Period 1--the very distant past--almost from the age of dinosaurs!)

Junior and Linnie Mae had sex and spawned Red and Merrick.  (Time Period 2--the somewhat distant past--almost from the time of the pyramids were being built!)

Red hooked up with Abby and spawned Denny, Jeannie, Amanda, and kind-of Stem. (Time period 3--The Present!).

Junior: So Junior is the one who started it all, the first Whitshank to emerge from the stone age era and learn that women could have other uses besides clubbing. He started his illustrious career having sex with Linnie Mae when he was 26 and she was 13. Ooops! After discovering her true age, he ran away to hide, but Linnie Mae, when she turned 18, tracked him down and got busy in his pants again. Junior is portrayed as passive while Linnie Mae leads him by the cock and tells him what to do.

Click here to see the rest of this review

Junior's "big story" is how he got this fancy house he built. He built the house for some rich people, but when he left a rope in the house, the wife of the owner got scared and wanted to move out, and sold the house to Junior.

Does what I just wrote in the previous sentence make no sense to you? If it does, you're paying attention.

 Linnie Mae: The 13 year old who seduced Junior, when he was 26. After Junior was driven out of town, Linnie Mae tracked him down 5 years later and picked up where they left off. Junior didn't want any part of her, but Linnie Mae grabbed tightly onto his cock and would not let go.

 Red: The son of Junior. He was obsessed with building and maintaining his house. Pages and pages of him talking about installing new bathrooms, new bedrooms. That's it! That's everything about him. What, he should have other character traits? Sorry, he doesn't.

Stem: The adopted son of Abby and Red. They call him Stem because when he was kid his neck was so thin that it could be snapped easily. He is named for having an easily broken neck. Despite being adopted, Stem is very protective of his adopted parents. When he learns that Abby knew the identity of his real mother, he wanted to bitchslap her until her blue thread dropped into his hands when he opened the closet door. Then he took the blue thread as a sign from God that Abby forgave him, or he forgave Abby, or whatever.

Click below for more about A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Plot pg1 Plot pg2 Plot pg3 Plot pg4
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian