"A Spool of Blue Thread" is the 20th novel written by the prolific Anne Tyler. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author casts her words in the direction of family dynamics surrounding three generations of Whitshanks who take turns living in patriarch Junior's home: handcrafted by his own construction company in the 1930's. Upon Junior and Linnie Mae's passing, Red and Abby Whitshank take residence in the same space on Bouton Road in Baltimore, Maryland. Here, they raised four children atop the same floorboards where the grandchildren now run.
Avery is on her way back home for Thanksgiving break when the plane she is traveling on crashes into a remote lake in the Colorado Rockies. Out of the 200 passengers on board the only survivors are Avery, Collin, Avery’s teammate on her college swim team, and three young boys. It takes all of Avery and Collin’s swimming skills to get themselves and the boys safely out of the sunken wreckage, but what awaits them out of the water is just as frightening. Their story is told alternating between present day and flashbacks of the 5 days they were trapped in the mountains.